Motorcycle Madness: Printing Pressure

Sal Lama with Ben’s motorcycle in AR

 

Tucked away in a corner of the warehouse space at DASSAULT SYSTEMES North American headquarters in Waltham, motorcycle parts are piling up. The Magic Wheelchair build team is hard at work, putting in late nights and spending their lunch hours in the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab to bring Ben’s bike to life.

We’re a month away from the reveal, and the team is in a good spot. Most of the foam for the bike’s body is cut and sanded, and the plywood for the frame has been machined. And what a frame! “It could be its own costume,” Annie said, and other team members agree. The bike is going to be 10 feet long and 37 inches wide—quite a big bike.

Annie Cheung in an AR version of the costume's frame
Annie Cheung in an AR version of the costume’s frame

 

The parts for the frame on the ShopBot
The parts for the frame on the ShopBot

 

The rear tire is 12 layers of 2-inch foam, and the front tire is 6 layers of 2-inch foam and 2 layers of 3-inch foam. Remember the wheels made for the mini-Max-D? The wheels that were scale replicas of monster truck tires? The rear tire of Ben’s bike dwarfs that.

 

Front and rear tires
Front and rear tires

 

Annie inside a the rear tire
Annie inside a the rear tire

 

All of the 3D printed details are almost done. 3DEXPERIENCE Lab intern Madhu has been helping the team, watching over prints in the massive Gigabot 3D printer. He’s experimented with the print orientations: when printing one of the faux exhaust panels, Madhu had it lying flat, which led to a lot of supports and more weight. When printing the second exhaust panel for the other side of the bike, he printed it on its side, leading to less support material and therefore less weight. You can see the difference in how the layers came out.

 

Madhu and the exhaust panel
Madhu and the exhaust panel

 

Exhaust panel layer comparison
Exhaust panel layer comparison

 

Now Madhu is in the process of 3D printing the channel for the LEDs in the rear wheel. If he has time, he’ll reprint the first exhaust panel, to lessen the weight on Ben’s bike.

 

The team traipsing around the electronic store
The team traipsing around the electronic store

 

There’s still some questions on electrical: should the team connect Ben’s fun dashboard to the lights along the wheels and body, or should they run on separate currents? Team members David, Nicolas, Chinloo, Gabe, and Stephen took a trip to a local electronics stores to see what kind of electrical doohickeys were available.

 

Dashboard mock up
Dashboard mock up

 

They looked at buttons, switches, knobs, different mechanisms Ben would have fun playing with. They also checked out what types of LEDs and boards were available.  “We got ideas of things that would look cool,” explained David.

 

Bike parts stacked in the warehouse space
Bike parts stacked in the warehouse space

 

Now it’s time to finish up the machined parts and sanding. Some holes need to be plugged with joint compound, then sanded again. Finally, the team can begin adding hard coat to the foam pieces.

With a month to go before the big reveal, team members are confident they’ll be able to produce one heck of a bike for Ben, and give him a truly special day. We’ll see how the build continues and get revved up for some motorcycle madness!

Help support Magic Wheelchair and amazing kiddos like Ben!

SOLIDWORKS is working hard to make Ben the most incredible costume ever and help the non-profit Magic Wheelchair achieve its goal of providing kids in wheelchairs with epic costumes. SOLIDWORKS is funding Ben’s costume build in its entirety, but we invite all our readers to support Magic Wheelchair in Ben’s name! If you visit his classy.org page, you can donate directly to Magic Wheelchair and help support them and all the lives they touch with their great work. Stay tuned for more updates on this exciting build and get your engines revved for more motorcycle madness!

SOLIDWORKS is partnering with the Magic Wheelchair to create an over-the-top costume for a child in a wheelchair. According to their mission statement, “Magic Wheelchair builds epic costumes for kiddos in wheelchairs —  at no cost to families.” Motorcycle Madness is an ongoing series dedicated to updating our readers on the current project’s progress.

Read about our previous build, Keep on (Monster) Truckin’ with Jonah here.

 

Sara Zuckerman

Sara Zuckerman

Sara Zuckerman is a SOLIDWORKS Education Contractor, Social Media and Marketing. She has a B.A. in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College and recently earned a Certificate in Web Development from MassBay Community College. Sara is excited about utilizing this blog to combine her two passions, writing and technology.