Bicicletto®, Italy’s Coolest Bike, Now with a 3D-Printed Makeover
Nuova Società Piemontese Automobili, or Nuova SPA, draws on a proud history of Italian automotive manufacturing. Founded in 1906, SPA produced classic Italian automobiles right up until 1949. The contemporary Nuova SPA is a continuation of this legacy with its unique creations that blend luxury and innovation together. Curious about what that looks like? Meet Bicicletto, an e-bike designed with the esthetics of a vintage motorbike. We helped reduce the weight of the bike, as well as production costs, with the inclusion of 3D-printed parts.
The automotive industry has been incorporating 3D Printing into its prototyping phase for a long time, but Bicicletto has been able to use the technology even more extensively — as a serial production technology. Since Bicicletto was already on the market, it was a question of adapting 3D printing technology to its existing design, resulting in 3D-printed prototypes as well as end-use parts. The overall result is a lighter bike that is faster and more cost-effective to manufacture.
Julianto Imprescia, Nuova SPA’s CEO, observes that 3D Printing offered the company an opportunity to upgrade designs and customize parts without having to slow down the entire production or invest in tooling. “3D Printing gave us a tremendous possibility to do whatever we wanted,” he says, “to change parts without bearing the cost of molds, which is very important for unique and customizable objects like Bicicletto.”
Working closely with Alessio Esposti, Account Manager at Materialise Italy, SPA incorporated several 3D-printed parts into Bicicletto, ranging from the seat to the housing for the high-tech display screen, to the front and rear indicators, and of course the iconic detachable headlight, which also indicates the turn signals of the biker. Armed with this experience, Mr. Imprescia sees a bright future for Additive Manufacturing in the automotive industry.
“I believe that 3D Printing is the future. I can imagine the Bicicletto in 10-15 years, completely prototyped and produced with 3D Printing.”
Julianto Imprescia, Nuova SPA’s CEO