A 3D PRINTER AT THE GIBRALTAR RACE
Our filaments available to pilots.
A 3d printer at the Gibraltar race
An innovative experiment: a 3D printer will be available to motorcyclists to replace pieces in real-time during the race.
“50 years are starting to be so many and time passes faster and faster", with this thought in mind Antonio Berera, head of the Research and Development department of FILOALFA® by Ciceri de Mondel, decided to participate at the Gibraltar Race, an extraordinary competition in its third edition.
This year the race will start on June 22nd from Brasov, Romania, and will cross Europe for a total of 8000km, with expected arrival in Gibraltar on July 7th.
But how to combine the passion for travel and off-road with the activity of FILOALFA®, an Italian leading company in the production of 3D printing filaments?
The Gibraltar Race requires a lot of driving hours and constancy and regularity are the keys, not only speed.
The reliability of the rider and the bike are necessary to get a good placement, for this reason, Antonio, a civil engineer, has decided to make changes to his equipment using FILOALFA® technical filaments and a 3D printer.
This technology, which provides fast production times and lower costs, has allowed not only to customize the bike before the departure, but can also be an exceptional help during the race for all the drivers who need repairs and customizations.
The engineer has in fact decided to install a small printer on the assistance truck of the organization, allowing all the participants to produce components and spare parts for the motorcycles during the race.
Antonio will provide the same materials he used to create some useful customizations to his bike, ie FILOALFA ALFA +, Thermec Zed and PETG.
On the KTM 690 of 2013, sponsored by FILOALFA®, there are already some 3d printed components:
GPS device support
The navigation during the race will rely only on GPS systems, so Antonio has designed and printed a support to connect a tablet to the handlebars, to abstain from using traditional GPS devices with small and poorly readable screens. The support, made up of several parts connected to each other using three anti-vibration rubber pads, has been printed in ALFA+, a resistant and sufficiently elastic material, able to withstand the stresses deriving from engine vibrations and off-road sections.
To try to be as autonomous as possible during the 500km-per-day stages, Antonio has created and installed a Tool Box 3D printed in PETG. This case, big enough to contain all the tools that could be useful during the race, needs to be extremely resistant to shocks because of the debris projected by the front wheel.
Support for tire-dismounting levers
To remedy a possible tire problem and to be able to quickly remove the tire in the event of a puncture, it is useful to have the tire-dismounting levers close at hand. This is the reason why Antonio designed a support to be placed in the front part of the bike, just above the sump-guard and near the exhaust manifold, using a very special material: Thermec Zed. This filament has excellent resistance to high temperatures and is therefore suitable for positioning the levers near hot parts of the engine.
Tire inflating kit
Last but not least, the KTM 690 FILOALFA® is equipped with a tire inflating kit that uses exhaust gases. This invention by Antonio consists of a reduction made in Thermec Zed that has to be inserted in the exhaust pipe of the motorcycle, a connecting pipe and a nipple to be screwed on the valve of the inner tube.
In case of need it can inflate a new inner tube that will allow reaching the nearest tire dealer, where to deflate the rubber and inflate it again with "fresh" air.
The difficulty of using this kit is that the exhaust gases of a petrol engine are extremely hot, so the inflation will be done in several times, but Antonio is confident as the pressure of about 1 bar has been reached during the testing phase.
A test of this length for 3D printed parts will allow to collect a lot of information on the behavior of materials and products, and will also make known to the fans of the world of two wheels and off-road the infinite possibilities offered by 3D printing.
All the information about the race will be available on the website www.gibraltarrace.com, while updates about the prints and the developments of Antonio’s race will be available on FILOALFA®'s Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter channels.
A great challenge both as a motorcyclist and as a FILOALFA® research and development manager!