Fortus 3D Printer Brings Golden Dragon Chopper To Life


It is not often that a manufacturing company gets its own reality TV show. However, that is exactly what happened to Orange County Choppers (OCC), a company located in Orange County, New York, that builds custom motorcycles (known as “choppers” in the motorcycle world). OCC is legendary for building bikes around a specific theme, such as the Fire Bike, which commemorated the New York firefighters who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

One of their recent requests for a custom bike came from a client in China who wanted a golden dragon-themed chopper.

While the entire design was certainly demanding, one element, the dragon’s head, was especially challenging. It was particularly important to the OCC team that the head of the dragon express character, emotion, and anger.

dragon-bike-4Accomplishing this required a tremendous amount of detail in the design of the dragon head. In order to achieve the required degree of detail, within a reasonable budget and timeframe, the OCC designers felt they had only one choice – 3D print the dragon head on their Stratasys Fortus 400mc 3D Printer.

Traditionally, building custom motorcycle parts was done with CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines.  However, over the past few years, Orange County Choppers has been producing more and more of the custom parts by 3D printing them.

dragon-bike-3They feel that the 3D printed parts are just as strong as some of the aluminum pieces they use.  In comparison with CNC machines, using 3D printing eliminates design and production limitations, allowing a chopper with a golden dragon head to be “just another design.”

OCC Senior Designer and graphic artist Jason Pohl sums it up very clearly: “The possibilities with the Stratasys Fortus 3D Printer are endless. Right now there is nothing stopping our creative minds from just making the coolest bikes in the world.”

Check out our case study for more details on how this dragon was brought to life.


This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), Japanese


  • Sean Lumly
    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    Sudden stops will now result in gut tearing fatalities! 😛

    • Mark Tury
      May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

      Totally ridiculous. Firebike thanks to Jr.
      But both OCC & PJD put out “art”
      Jesse James makes bikes for bikers and they can be ridden cross country.
      Try that with “display art” bikes.

    • New Planet Mike
      May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

      Awesome design alright! But I agree with Sean about those spikes. I guess one solution would be do design those spikes as individually spring-tensioned collapsible units that would depress upon impact. FANTASTIC WORK OCC AND STRATASYS!

    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM


    • jordan walker
      May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

      the bike has not been finished yet

  • Ramon
    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    There’s no arguing with taste I guess 😛

  • Danny
    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    That is the most ridiculous motorcycle I have ever seen. Looks like something you would see at Disney land.
    The 3d printing is great though.

  • Davey of Cornwall
    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    Is this bike just artwork? I don’t see any handlebars, throttle or brake and where does the fuel go?

    I do hope that the spikes are replaced with rubber replicas as at the moment the bike looks rather dangerous. In Europe such a bike would never be allowed on the road.

    • Adam
      May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

      Bars are on the shoulder, tank in the dragons back. Very cool but you loose something authentic with the crappy plastic. Metal work done by hand with skill that’s a custom bike. The printer just misses the point of doing customs.

  • Max Corey
    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    Well I like it. How the hell else can you get to ride a dragon! Good dragon, a bit strange but cool.

    May 30, 2013 7:50 PM

    HI O-C-C was payed big money to do this bike . In my eyes they worked with there own computer designs to the best they could do . I have been building a Harley dragon bike of real art for years i have two more years to go one thing you can not rush art and when building a dragon it is a gift comes form the hart and sole of yourself Thank You Brian.

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