An Italian rally rider and engineer is 3D printing parts for his bike, printing replacement parts in real time during the Gibraltar Race and has designed tyre inflating device which runs from exhaust gases.
We’re not making this stuff up. Antonio Berera, head of the Research and Development at Italian company FILOALFA is racing the Gibraltar Race, a fairly epic cross-Europe rally running right now, on a KTM 690 fitted with his own innovations.
Antonio, a civil engineer, has printed parts for his own bike using FILOALFA technical filaments but has then pushed the idea to include a small printer on the assistance truck of the rally organization, allowing participants to produce components and spare parts during the race.
Berera’s 3D printed components:
Antonio designed and printed a GPS support to connect a tablet to the handlebars, so he doesn’t have to use traditional GPS devices with small and poorly readable screens. The support uses several parts connected on anti-vibration mounts, is printed in ALFA+, a resistant and sufficiently elastic material able to withstand the stresses from engine vibrations and off-road riding.
A Tool Box 3D printed in PETG which is an extremely resistant material ready to stand shocks because of the debris projected by the front wheel.
Tyre lever mount
Antonio designed a support just above the sump-guard and near the exhaust manifold using a very special material: Thermec Zed, a filament with high resistance to temperatures.
Tyre inflating kit
Last but not least his KTM 690 is equipped with a tire inflating kit that uses exhaust gases. Antonio’s invention consists of a reduction made in Thermec Zed inserted in the exhaust with a connecting pipe and nipple to be screwed on the tyre valve.
The idea is to use it as a repair and then inflate the tyre again with "fresh" air as soon as possible. Exhaust gases are obviously hot, so the inflation has to be done carefully in stages. But Antonio is confident of about 1 bar reached during the testing phase.
Research and development
As much as anything this project is about gathering information on the behaviour of materials and products, as-well-as showcasing the possibilities off 3D printing.
In its third edition, the Gibraltar race started on June 22 from Brasov, Romania and crosses Europe for a total of 8000km arriving in Gibraltar on July 7. At the time of writing Barrera is in fact leading the event.
More information about Gibraltar Race: gibraltarrace.com
Updates about Antonio’s race will be available on FILOALFA's social media channels.
Jon PearsonEnduro21 Editor and Bike Testerjon.firstname.lastname@example.org