Lightning Motorcycles develop and manufacture the worlds fastest superbike with the help of Autodesk software and to top it off, its an all electric vehicle.
That’s right, the fastest production bike in the world is electric and not only that, but it broke the record using solar energy with the equivalent cost of 5 pence. Its not every day that my passions of 3D and Motorsport come together but this story ticks all the boxes.
3D software and 3D printing allowed the team to rapidly manufacture new prototypes, multiple times a day allowing incremental improvements in lighting fast time. This allowed the team to stress test new components on the bike in a matter of hours and use the data to improve the design, allowing it to leapfrog a hundred years worth of petrol fuelled motorbike development. In November 2014 they completed their first customer delivery at the Autodesk Gallery.
Here is the team stealing first place from their petrol bike competitors at Pikes Peak in 2013
A wide range of 3D tools were put to use in the build of the bike including AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor which are both used for mechanical engineering prototyping and simulation. Inventor could be considered the bigger (and more expensive!) brother of the two, built specifically with manufacturing in mind. In conjunction with this Fusion 360 is used to work with the 3D printing process as well as across multiple platforms aside from just the desktop. 3ds Max also makes an appearance despite being more commonly associated with games development.
If you want to see more about the bike, you can’t beat this shakedown and interview by the one and only Jay Leno.
I couldn’t be more excited to see 3D design, printing, traditional engineering and an eco friendly spirit coming together to produce an incredibly exciting and competitive vehicle. Make sure you check out Lightning Motorcycles official site if you want to know more.