Light Rider: Airbus’s 3D-Printed Electric ‘Cycle


The 3D-printed parts of the Light Rider’s frame were produced using a selective 3D laser printing system that melts millions of aluminum alloy particles together. The fused metal particles are then built up in thousands of layers, each just 60 microns thick or roughly the width of a human hair.



As the 3D-printing process follows the formatted algorithm, the frame structure that emerges somewhat resembles a frozen bubble or an organic exoskeleton. The look is no coincidence: APWorks engineers deliberately designed the algorithm to use bionic structures and natural growth processes as a template with the goal of balancing the dual needs for high strength and light weight.