French Moto2 team TransFIORmers won its first race at the CEV Repsol European Championship in Barcelona in June 2016. The team used a new front suspension system including an additively manufactured (3D printed) titanium wishbone produced using Renishaw‘s AM250 manufacturing system. The component is a good example of effective part consolidation, with a weight saving of 600g compared with the original welded steel component.
The TransFIORmers team worked in partnership with I3D Concept to design and manufacture a novel front suspension system inspired by maverick race bike designer, Claude Fior. The system uses a design radically different from any other suspension system used in Moto2. The system bypasses traditional weight transfer phenomenon and the problems associated with ‘brake dive’.
Key components of the front suspension are the wishbones; components that attach the fork to the motorbike chassis, enabling movement of the forks. The original upper wishbone component was handmade and assembled using twelve individually machined and welded parts.
I3D Concept, topologically optimised the shape of the part using CAD software. The new design reduced assembly time, decreased the weight by a factor of 40 per cent, but as importantly, reduced the unsprung mass of the bike. This improved the suspension in terms of vibration management and responsiveness to braking and acceleration.
Christophe Tisserand, Additive Manufacturing Product Manager for Renishaw S.A.S. explains: “Additive manufacturing allowed the TransFIORmers team to produce a precisely manufactured component in a highly competitive environment.”
The Optical Control System of Renishaw’s AM250 additive manufacturing system enabled accurate control of laser steering, which enhanced precision, definition of features and surface finish.
The TransFIORmers team considers themselves the first in the Moto2 championship to use additive manufacturing in a structural, functional component. The winning TransFIORmers bike will showcase on the Renishaw stand at BIMU, Milan, from 4-8 October 2016 and also at Formnext, in Frankfurt from 11-15 November 2016. For a full case study and videos about the project, see www.renishaw.com/transfiormers.