Designer and artist Jonathan Brand has created a 3D printed motorcycle that gearheads, motorcycle enthusiasts, 3D printing fans, and interior designers will all appreciate.
From his studio in New Haven, CT, Jonathan Brand has printed out a full-scale replica 3D printed motorcycle based on a classic: a 1970’s Honda CB 500 universal Japanese motorcycle (UJM). The bike was made primarily from ultra thin translucent plastic by two of Brand’s Ultimaker 3D printers.
And, as a guy who decorates his home with paintings of motorcycles, I have to say that Brand’s work is beautiful.
Brand explained that while living in Brooklyn he began motorcycle shopping and planned on buying an old Honda CB.
We all know how well plans and motorcycles always go.
In Brand’s case the plan was derailed by the birth of his son. Brand decided that motorcycles, being a new father, and being incredibly accident prone, were a bad combination. He decided that a 3D printed motorcycle was a smarter (and safer) decision for him.
Canadian-born in Sarnia, Ontario, Brand earned a BA from the U of Guelph and a Masters degree from Yale University. As far as 3D printers are concerned, Brand has been using them for around five years.
“If you have a lot of money, you can get a pretty robust and reliable printer, but the material still seems to be a limitation. The biggest problem I’ve had is getting reliable quality printing materials in the US. I’d really like to experiment with a resin based printer, but for now it’s just too expensive for the large scale work I’m doing.”
– Jonathan Brand
Building the 3D printed Honda CB500 motorcycle involved using two Ultimaker 3D printers, 3D Studio Max, Adobe Illustrator, Geomagic, Kisslicer, Netfabb, and Rhino.
Brand first built the initial forms. He cut out parts by hand or with a vinyl cutter with a laser eye for registering dimensions. For final production, each piece is printed in small sections and glued together individually.
Despite taking over a year to make, and all of the time spent in piecework and production, Brand is convinced that the final product is more a work of art and than an engineering project.
“I personally think it’s art, because I have a lot of respect for engineers. My education is in art. I had an engineer tell me that if I knew what I was doing (from an engineering perspective) I’d never make my work, because I’d know beforehand that it wouldn’t work. I have a factory of one.”
– Jonathan Brand
Is Brand’s 3D printed motorcycle a work of art, a mini engineering masterpiece, or a bit of both?
Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re more of a natural purist, you might also want to check out our post about this beautiful motorcycle made from wood.