How 3D Printed Motorcycle Prototypes Accelerate New Model Delivery

Polaris Motorcycles, based in Minnesota, revived a classic motorcycle brand thanks to 3D printing! The iconic Indian motorcycle brand was bought and revitalized by Polaris, already the producers of the Victory line.

Polaris used both traditional and modern modeling methods to bring three different Indian motorcycles – the Indian Chief Classic, the Indian Chief Vintage, and the Chieftain – to market in just over two years.

Scott Wine, Polaris CEO, explained in an interview with Bloomberg TV that clay modeling, a staple in automotive design for decades, was supplemented with 3D printing and that Polaris has “several” Stratasys 3D Printers on location. Using only clay modeling and tooling, a single motorcycle design would be available for testing only after 15 months; prototyping parts with 3D printers cut that time to less than three months!

The Indian motorcycle brand was successfully reintroduced, retaining many of its well-known design elements, in August 2013. It is expected to be available in over 200 dealerships in the early months of 2014.

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