Jeremy Robinson, a Motocross Racing Technologist at Kawasaki Motors Corp., USA, is responsible for the mechanical design of many of the specific components for Kawasaki Motocross Racing motorcycles. By adopting 3D printing, Jeremy and his team are able to leverage a manufacturing process that allows fast design iteration, the production of parts within a short timeframe. They can also create unusual parts that might be more difficult with subtractive methods – or only possible with injection molding, which can be inefficient for small volume batches.
Motocross Racing Technologist at Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.
“We use 3D printing often to prove part designs, which allows for a collaborative design process while checking form, fit, and function,” Jeremy says. “3D printing is used here to create tools, fixtures, and organizers that allow us to work more proficiently. Furthermore, we also print durable end-use parts in small quantities that go directly onto our race bikes, which is something that we could not do with injection molding for a multitude of reasons.”
Utilizing 3D printing has allowed Jeremy and the Kawasaki team to to accelerate its workflow by creating components and tooling in a fraction of the time it might have taken them without the technology – sometimes even overnight. This is essential in a sport in which racing teams sometimes only have 24 to 72 hours to solve complex issues that might arise from the previous race before heading to the next event.
I have seen first-hand the benefits of 3D printing that has allowed for our team to constantly push the envelope in terms of evolution and design of our motorcycles to perform at the highest level of competition.