3D Printing Innovator Drives Custom Trike to Land Speed Record

Brian Klock, Founder and President of Klock Werks Kustom Cycles, set a new World Land Speed Record while driving a unique trike on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Wendover, Utah.  Klock is well known for his innovative vehicle parts and motorcycle designs.

Brian Klerk on his way to setting a world speed record on a Triumph Rocket III

Brian Klock on his way to setting a world speed record on a Triumph Rocket III

The unique three-wheeler was based on a Triumph Rocket III Touring bike, a Carpenter Racing motor kit, and a Motor Trike conversion. This combination was able to achieve a top speed of 136 MPH at the recent speed trials.

3d printing, land speed record

Rear view of the Triumph Rocket III Trike

Since 2006, the Klock Werks team has set over 20 land speed records.  One of their most challenging and publicized victories was in the Discovery Channel’s Biker Build-Off, where they had only 10 days to build a custom bike. After being built, the bike was driven to and displayed at the 66th Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally – where visitors voted it the best bike at the show. 3D printing with a Fortus 400mc Production System from Stratasys is credited with playing a major role in the successful rapid development of that bike.

Direct digital manufacturing with the Fortus 400mc gave us a major edge in the competition,” says Jesse Hanssen, previously a  mechanical engineer at Klock Werks (currently a Product Line Manager at Stratasys). “The [Fortus] FDM system enabled us to build anything we could imagine.

Klock Werks engineers designed the gauge pod, fork tube covers, headlight bezel, floorboard mounts, floorboard undercovers, and wheel spacer cover in SolidWorks. All of these parts were 3D printed in only five days from polycarbonate plastic. The cost of producing the parts with FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) 3D printing technology of the Fortus 400mc was less than a quarter of what it would cost to injection mold or cast them.

After winning the competition, the Klock Werks team also raced the bike at the Bonneville Salt Flats, where they set an AMA (American Motorcyclist Association) land speed record. According to Brian Klock:

… [this]  proves the durability of polycarbonate parts at 147 MPH.  Thanks to our design team and the team at Stratasys.

For more information on Klock Werks, visit  www.kustomcycles.com.

This post is also available in: Chinese (Simplified), French, Korean, Portuguese (Brazil)

Comments

  1. Very nicely done

  2. nice work. lets see a jet powered trike next beat the record by double.

    • John Harris says:

      To me, jet or rocket engined vehicles can’t have any credibility as land speed contestants. Driven wheels should be the essential criterion for legitimate land speed records. To go fast on land, take a jet fighter fuselage and reverse the wings for negative lift, but what’s the point?

      • jack Underwood says:

        WTF!!! The trike isn’t Rocket powered “Rocket” is the Triumph model name for the donor bike where the engine came from!!!!!

        • Learn how to read… the previous post said “…let’s see a JET POWERED TRIKE…” so yes.. it was referring to a rocket or jet powered Trike. Not very bright.

  3. good stuff!

  4. Innovative

  5. Fossil fuels suck the life out of a Planet…. so how about we only use them for these speed trials, and use something else for regular driving.

  6. Damn! What’s more cool…the speed or the cost!?! 3D modeling is going to set off a new wild wild west period of product design. Pretty excited about it.

  7. I would never have thought that the record was set at only 136 mph.

  8. How does it run after 15 years I wonder?

  9. guessagainkk says:

    Useless article. 3D print on non critical components, this article is essentially saying to replace “production version” of ABS components with “3d printed” ABS ones.

    These 3d printed components play a small (if any) contribution to the land speed record itself. The only achievement is the time to make these parts

    Let see if 3D print ABS could replace a part of what otherwise could only be done on metallic parts (like the compressor on a jet engine) then it is worth reading.

    • The Stratasys blog offers different perspectives on the 3D printing industry, including product information, advancements in the industry, innovative applications and customer stories. This story celebrates the achievement of our customer breaking a speed record. The benefits of using the Fortus 400mc Production System, as stated in the blog, were the speed of the design process and the cost savings. The speed of the custom design and manufacturing process was integral to the creation of the bike given the time constraints described in the post.

      • Auto Motive says:

        Some of these comments are people living in another reality. Years ago Jay Leno printed a part in plastic so a mold could be made in days for one of his steam cars. It was produced in less than 48 hrs and back on his steam car the next day. Technological advances only come from the visionaries in article like this. I truly hope the comments from guessagainkk who lives under a rock are far few between. GREAT job at printing up the parts and getting them on the record breaking trike.

    • Agreed. Headline is misleading…the 3D printed components may have been produced faster than usual but I doubt the parts themselves had any bearing on the bike beating the velocity record.

  10. I think this article is enormously deceptive. None of the mechanical parts were 3D printed, only the polycarbonate pieces (i.e. not the motor, nor drivetrain, suspension, controls, indeed nothing that actually makes the bike go!). I wonder how fast it would go WITHOUT any of the polycarbonate parts. Let’s see how long it is before someone can 3D print a crankshaft, conrod, valves, camshaft, not to mention forks, swingarms, etc. There is a reason why steel is forged.

    • The Stratasys blog offers different perspectives on the 3D printing industry, including product information, advancements in the industry, innovative applications and customer stories. This story celebrates the achievement of our customer breaking a speed record. The benefits of using the Fortus 400mc Production System, as stated in the blog, were the speed of the design process and the cost savings. The speed of the custom design and manufacturing process was integral to the creation of the bike given the time constraints described in the post.

  11. Title not descriptive…merely designed to grab your readers attention…it did for the wrong reasons.Any further articles from this company will be bypassed by this reader,unless I come across them on a web search.Shame on CNN for such an article title

  12. Joel Jean-Claude says:

    I agree with those who show skepticism. I am an engineering major who has been exposed to 3D printers over the last two months. When seeing the headline to this article, I expected to see an explanation of how the pistons, gears, and other drivetrain parts were printed. Instead, what I read was that only some of the chassis components were 3D printed.

    Stratasys may be playing innocent here, claiming that the 3D printer reduced development time, but in the end, those parts are not what propelled the bike to the 136mph speed record. Stratasys can stand on its claims, but don’t be surprised if people at large don’t take it seriously.

    If you want to claim that a 3D printer helped break a speed record, then the printer must have produced mechanical parts to achieve said record. The Bugatti Veyron is a real-life production automobile whose engine block is printed using laser cutters. Look it up.

    • Baseline says:

      Well where ever you are receiving your engineering degree from you should consider asking for a refund because you are seriously misguided. The W16 engine block used in Bugatti Veyron’s are machined from solid billet aluminum on a Matsuura MAM72-42V 5 axis CNC machine.

      As to the rest of the article 3D printing is still in its infancy as the technology matures so will the capabilities. Already what can be achieved is impressive and what was done for this effort is nothing to arbitrarily dismiss. I look forward to expanded capabilities and lower entry costs that are yet to come.

  13. Amillemn says:

    I wonder if if the FDM production price they were comparing to injection mold or cast cost was including making the die and all that. I just don’t see how it could be a 1/4 of the price.
    It must be the cost of printing one set of parts versus molding them, but thats not really a fair comparison. Also, 1/4 of the price would be what, like $10,000 I think? I love 3d printing as a concept, and I can’t wait to see what it becomes, but you gotta be more honest and forthcoming to get people on the bandwagon.

  14. The way this caught my eye was because it sounded like the bike had been made on a 3d printer. It wasn’t ……Some of its plastics were! Woop woop!
    Completely misleading!

  15. Joseph A. Caluori says:

    Agree with neil: completely misleading!

  16. Rick Miller says:

    Books used to be printed by hand. Progress is a journey and 3D printing is at it’s beginnings. I only hope it doesn’ t replace physical craftsmanship with a keyboard.

  17. billylee says:

    Great article but the post said 3d printed trike breaks speed record…cool how they printed some of the parts but wouldn’t call it a “3d printed trike”

  18. I agree with the others, the headline was a dupe and i am sorely disappointed in the company for blatantly lying. I was hoping to like this too.

  19. I read the whole article. nowhere did it say that this was a “3D printed trike”.
    The title is “3D Printing Innovator Drives Custom Trike to Land Speed Record”
    there is noting I see dishonest or deceptive in that unless you reading what you want it to say and not what is actually there.
    No where did it imply that anything more than a few non critical parts were 3D printed out of plastic. If you did read the article it was quite clear that going from initial design to a complete running trike in just 10 days was only possible due to the speed of 3D printing.

  20. 3 D printed titanium and other metal alloys is already here. I have a friend that prototypes motorcylce parts using a 3 D printer that prints in metal. Agree that the title is somewhat misleading, but the 3 D phenom is

  21. While the idea of a 3d printed trike is interesting i would much rather read articles about 3d printed food, i long for the day where we can just walk to a device and say “computer make me a cheeseburger and side of fries”. Whats more fascinating than 3d printed tech is programmable carbon nanotubes.

  22. Since late 2010, the Ack Attack team has held the motorcycle land speed record at 376.36 mph (605.69 km/h).
    The fastest record certified by the FIM is that set in 1964 by the jet-propelled tricycle, Spirit of America. It set three absolute land speed records, the last at 526.277 miles per hour (846.961 km/h)

    while he obtained impressive speeds this is certainly not record breaking in any semse

  23. Manrope says:

    GOOD MORNING to all you folk who are deceived by the headline, read it again SLOWLY. The words “3D Printing Innovator” refer to the man, Brian Klock. He is the 3D printing innovator and it was he who drove the custom trike to a new record. There is no deception in the headline at all!

    If you still disagree, go back to school and LEARN correct English as spoken in ENGLAND.

    • Develew says:

      Actually more interested in the arguments about the headline than the article itself which was a bit of a non story. 136mph ain’t that fast. Electric bikes now go up and around the Isle of Man TT circuit at over 100 mph average speeds.The 3 wheelers are way faster. That’s an average speed on public roads over 37 miles up hill and down dale not on a flat salt lake. But maybe it wasn’t the headline that was the problem . I hooked up to this from the PC Advisor site which had a link incorrectly titled “3D printed 3 wheeler hits 136 mph (Stratasys blog) ” , no wonder I was disappointed.

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