At this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Divergent 3D is showing off a bold new “super bike” design, the Dagger. The motorcycle definitely looks like a showstopper — but the parts it’s built out of and the platform that produced it are what really make it special.
The Dagger (which was finished just the day before going on display at the show) sits on a 3D-printed chassis. The printing process produces a carbon fiber structure that Divergent 3D claims is 50 percent lighter than traditional motorcycle materials, so the frame would be significantly more efficient on the road. It’s also stronger too, so that efficiency doesn’t come at the cost of rider safety.
But the bike isn’t made completely out of 3D-printed materials. Possibly the Dagger’s most important component for gearheads, its motor, comes from a Kawasaki H2 supercharged sportbike. At the moment, Divergent is focusing on employing the 3D printing tech for the Dagger’s structural parts.
While there are other 3D-printed motorcycles already in showrooms (the APWORKS Light Rider and Energica Ego among them), the Dagger is the first foray into two-wheeled territory for Divergent 3D. That shift in strategy might actually be more important for the company than the bike’s actual performance, because the Dagger’s very existence shows how far the Divergent 3D manufacturing platform has come.
Up until now, Divergent 3D is most notable for the Blade, a (mostly) 3D printed supercar which debuted last year.
Since then, Divergent 3D has been hard at work refining its manufacturing process and partnering with larger auto manufacturers, most significantly French conglomerate PSA Groupe, to bring 3D printing tech to the forefront of automotive technology.
“The partnership with PSA Group is to bring about standard vehicles built on our technology in the next few years,” Divergent 3D CEO Kevin Czinger told Mashable from the L.A. Auto Show floor. “These cars are showing how creative and diverse and divergent you can be if you have the tools and a low cost way to build cool stuff.”
The Dagger is just the next step in this growth. According to Czinger, this proves that Divergent 3D can do more than just produce the parts and chassis for one super car — the process can be applied to just about anything.
“This is to show that we have a front end where we can develop a vehicle within a wide range, from a motorcycle to a truck,” he said. “It’s a platform that will allow you to design, manufacture and assemble a wide range of vehicles.”
With this level of utility, Czinger hopes that Divergent 3D will serve more than just the huge manufacturers that rule the roads today. In time, he envisions a supply chain that will be more easily accessible for smaller companies, creating a much more diverse automotive landscape in the future.
“The ultimate vision is years from now because of lowered costs, we’re going to go from tens of car companies globally to thousands using this platform,” he said.