Sharebot & Aprilia Racing
MotoGp is the premier class of world motorcycling. At these levels, every detail is fundamental, and the continuous optimization of the motorbike helps the driver to gain precious tenths on the lap.
We are used to thinking that, to go faster, it is enough to increase the motor cavalry but in reality the matter is much more complex. In the past few years the aerodynamic fins in the front part of the fairing have appeared in MotoGp; initially they were judged as “simple” appendices of an aesthetic nature, but over the years they have become fundamental for the aerodynamics of the vehicle. In particular to increase the downforce and therefore the adhesion to the asphalt, also decreasing the possibility of wheeling the bike during accelerations.
Aprilia Racing: Season 2018
For the 2018 Aprilia Racing season, thanks to the use of Sharebot 3D printers and Help3D technical support, drilling templates were created for the front fairing of the bike. The 3D models of the template were made directly on the CAD designed fairing and then printed in 3D with Sharebot QXXL and Sharebot 42 printers.
Case study – “Footboard Support”
It is not a secret, the bike must be “sewn” on the pilot. Not only for a matter of feeling and comfort but also to optimize the rider’s aerodynamics on the bike.
The footboard support plays a fundamental role in positioning the rider on the bike: they are generally very backward and raised compared to a road bike. If not properly sized they may even be uncomfortable for the pilot and could lead him to take uncomfortable and unnatural driving positions.
Aprilia Racing, thanks to the use of Sharebot 3D printers and Help3D technical support, has created a series of PLA footboard supports with Sharebot 42 printer to understand which were the most suitable for pilots of the team. After analyzing different solutions and finding the perfect ones for each pilot, the footrest supports were milled by obtaining them from the billet by CNC milling machines.
This process has allowed Aprilia to reduce the design time but above all the manufacturing costs of each single footboard support, offering at the same time better shape customization for each pilot.
Case study – “Airbox Reduction”
The performance of an engine also depends very much on how and how much it “breathes”. The sizing of an Airbox for a MotoGp requires a meticulous study of the flows and turbulences that are created inside the air box or airbox. The material used to create the Airbox is carbon fiber, very light and resistant. The disadvantage is that it requires a mold to be made: thin sheets of carbon pre-impregnated with epoxy resin are laid on the mold and then placed in an autoclave to complete the process of catalysis and extraction of air bubbles.
For the 2018 season, Aprilia Racing, thanks to the use of Sharebot 3D printers and Help3D technical support, has created a series of PLA airbox reductions with the Sharebot QXXL printer. By modeling different inserts / reductions, the technicians of the racing department were able to test different volumes at the test bench starting only from an airbox.
This process has made it possible to identify the best geometry of the Airbox without necessarily having to make a mold and subsequent lamination with carbon each time, thus saving time and costs. The printing of the gear reducer insert even allows to carry out various tests on the test bench, simply replacing it without having to remove the airbox each time. Once the best geometry has been identified, only one mold is made to laminate the final airbox.