3D Printed motorcycle parts for time and cost savings

BORN Motor customizes high-quality deconstructed motorcycles and is using 3D printing for manufacturing final parts instead of traditional processes, saving €2,000 for each motorcycle modified.

Traditional processes are time-consuming, expensive for short runs of production and limits the engineers design freedom. The BCN3D Sigma is now part of the daily life at BORN Motor, empowering its engineers to create more complex parts with a fraction of the previous effort, time and money.

Born Motor ·D printing BCN3D Sigma Motorcycle

The automotive company BORN Motor Co., based on Calella, Barcelona, produces high quality deconstructed motorcycles. Besides customizing, BORN Motor Co. also designs limited editions and upgrade kits for motorcycles. Last but not least, as an industrial design studio, collaborates in the aesthetic design of several motorcycle manufacturers. Exclusivity and originality are distinctive features for the BORN Motor products’. Their design and activities follow a purpose and are strongly inspired by its surrounding individuals.

The challenge

Given the culture and concept of the company, BORN Motor use traditional manufacturing technologies, like laser cutting and CNC milling, or create custom pieces by hand. However, both options are time-consuming and expensive for short runs of production. In addition, such technologies limit the design freedom and don’t allow creating complex, custom pieces. Despite BORN Motor has contemplated investing in injection molds for certain parts, the low volume inherent to its business advice against it.

Born Motor 3D printing BCN3D Sigma Motorcycle 3

The solution

3D Printing has allowed BORN Motor to speed up his creative process, from the design to the manufacturing and testing stages. The team is now capable to iterate faster and get refined designs in a very straight-forward workflow. 3D printing also has allowed BORN Motor to overcome design limitations caused by the previous manufacturing technologies used. Thanks to the versatility that the BCN3D Sigma 3D printer offers, BORN Motor engineers now are able to fabricate end-use pieces made of different materials, such as NylonPET-G or ABS, depending on the final use of the part.

Born Motor 3D printing BCN3D Sigma Motorcycle

The result

3D printing is now part of the daily life at BORN Motor, empowering its designers to create more complex parts with a fraction of the previous effort, time and money. While before the staff were spending time in handcrafted components, now they can focus on higher added-value parts. 3D printing for internal or non-aesthetic parts has opened the door to new solutions and design strategies, enriching the Design process and the final outcome, while reducing the time-to-market and overall labor costs.

Cost reduction

Costs are affected by several factors: from size to function and geometry influence in the decision of which traditional manufacturing technology is ideal for every single custom part. The following table is based on the modification of a dash housing for a Honda CB25.

3D Printed
Costs (labor, materials and service fee)
Lead time
2-3 weeks

BORN Motor, by using 3D printing technologies, is able to fabricate customized parts for limited edition motorcycles quickly and affordably. Are you interested to find out what BCN3D Technologies can do for your business? Contact us at, we love hearing from you!

Introduction to FFF technology and its most important parameters

In this article we cover the basics of FFF technology and which are the most important parameters when it comes to 3D printing.

Educational 3D printing parameters Kit.

About Fused Filament Fabrication Technology (FFF)

Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), or Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF), is an additive manufacturing process that deposits a thermoplastic material layer-by-layer in order to build a part. FFF technology manufactures strong, durable and dimensionally stable objects with an unmatched accuracy.


FFF technology applied to the dual extruder of BCN3D Sigma based on IDEX architecture.

Among the multiple 3D Printing technologies in the market, FFF is the most widely spread because of several reasons. First of all, both the hardware and material are affordable, requiring a low initial investment. Secondly, there is a large range of materials available, so the technology is suitable for multiple applications and markets. Finally, the design criteria needed and equipment operation are simple enough, especially compared with other 3D Printing technologies, so there is no need for specialized operators or complex training.

The technology supports industrial-grade thermoplastics such as Nylon, TPU, PET-G or ABS, among others. Check out the BCN3D Filaments, our portfolio of materials.

FFF most important parameters and its influence

Every 3D print starts with a digital design of an object, which is then divided in thin layers with a software called slicer. The layer split is made in order to print in the XY plane and then give volume through the Z axis. When using BCN3D Printers we recommend the usage of the slicer BCN3D cura, a free and easy-to-use software entirely optimized for our printers.

When printing a digital design, a slicer is required in order to select the material and the quality of the print. All the parameters described in this article are automatically calculated by the software BCN3D Cura, so the user doesn’t need to know any of them. Nevertheless, it is important to define them and know how they influence in the quality of the part and the printing time. The most important ones are explained below and they are Layer Height, Infill, Shells, Printing Speed, Temperature, Overhangs.


BCN3D Cura slicing software.


The layer height is an implicit parameter in all 3D printing processes. Geometries are generated in the XY plane and then extruded along Z axis. This extrusion is made with layers, whose height can be modified to obtain the desired result. These layers are defined with BCN3D Cura Software.

Modifying layer height
There are two major factors that may influence when choosing layer height. First of all the printing quality, because the layer height is equivalent to the vertical resolution of Z axis. Lower layer heights will result in smoother prints, because the number of layers will increase so will do the number of points that define Z axis.

The second factor is the printing speed, because when decreasing the layer height, the total number of layers is higher, so does the printing time.

All in all, for low values of layer height, the resulting part will be smoother but will also take more time to print it. Thus, high values for layer height result in a loss of resolution but faster prints. Therefore, the designer has to chose whether time or resolution is more important. It is normally considered a high-quality part when the layer height is below 0.15mm, and low quality when this value is above 0.3mm. In the next picture, there are shown different types of layer height from 0.1mm to 0.3mm.


Layer height difference between parts.


When 3D printing with FFF technology, most of the parts are not printed completely solid. Printing a solid part means wasting a lot of material and spending a long time printing, and that means increased costs. Instead, these parts are filled with less material and wrapped with shells. In this picture, it can be appreciated the difference between each part.


Infill and shells schema, depending on their position.

Despite this first classification, shells can be broken down into different types depending on their position.

  • Walls: the shells placed by the sides of the model.
  • Bottom layers: the shells between the infill and the build plate. They are the first printed layers.
  • Top layers: the shells between the infill and the nozzle. They are the last printed layers.
  • Infill: the internal structure or the skeleton of the part.

Modifying shells
Strength can be improved by adding shells, which will also take more printing time and material. The wall thickness is the value of the nozzle diameter, so the size of the wall must be a multiple of the diameter to prevent voids between shells. The recommended number of shells in BCN3D Cura is 3, but it can be easily changed to the desired number. Below are shown different numbers of shells from 1 to 5.


Number of shells difference between parts.

Modifying infill
FFF parts are usually printed with a low value of infill, around 20%. Infill is measured from 0% to 100%, being 0% a completely emptied part and 100% a completely filled part. The idea is to reduce time and material, keeping mechanical properties. When increasing the percentage it also increases the strength of the design. So, if it is necessary to print a prototype the infill should be around 15%, whereas if it is a final part the infill should be more than 50%. Below are shown different infills from 0% to 100%.


Infill difference between parts.


Printing speed is the speed at which printing happens. This speed depends on the material, size of the nozzle, layer height, etc. It is a key factor to get the highest quality in printed parts. Printing speed has an important influence on time. For small models there is practically no difference between slow and fast printing speed, but for large models it makes a remarkable difference.


The temperature at which occurs the print depends on the type of material and the quantity of material going through the nozzle. Each material has its theoretical melting point, but when 3D printing it exists a range of melting temperatures. The melting happens in the nozzle and it is instantaneous. Due to this factor and the presence of additives to improve the printing experience, the range temperature is noticeably above the melting point of the material.

Modifying temperature
The optimal temperature is the lowest temperature that can melt the material completely. If the temperature is too low, the nozzle can have problems with clogging because of the non-melted material.


Because of the manufacturing strategy, sometimes it is required to build auxiliary support structures for those models with overhangs shallower than 45º from the horizontal plane.


Creating supports with IDEX technology.

In the case of printers that only have one extruder instead of a dual extruder system, once the model is printed, it is necessary to perform a manual and time-consuming operation to remove the supports. This process affects the quality surface between the model and the supports and also increases the chances of breaking the part. In addition, depending on the geometry of the model it can be impossible to totally remove the supports by hand.

However, BCN3D Technologies proposition uses IDEX architecture to counteract the described disadvantage. IDEX stands for Independent Dual Extruder, a unique system that allows to print support structures properly and ensures the finest surface finish. Most of the other printers featuring Dual Extrusion have both toolheads in the same carriage. However, IDEX architecture allows to park the idle carriage aside, preventing the dripping of molten plastic onto the part and improving the overall quality.

idex architecture bcn3d technologies

Moreover, this architecture of all BCN3D printers also adds differentiating advantages. First of all, it is possible to combine different materials, like rigid and flexible, or to use two colors to get more attractive or aesthetic models. Last but not least, IDEX opens the door to new printing strategies, allowing to use different tool sizes to cut down printing times without giving away quality.

When considering the use of supports in a print, there are two types of structures that are critical. Bridging is a structure between two points at the same height without any solid below. With BCN3D Cura, these structures may be printed without supports if the distance is not too long, and the temperature and speed let the material cool fast and keep its rigidity. In the picture below, there is a bridging test, in which a distance of 150mm has been printed correctly.


Bridging size variation from 10mm to 150mm.

Overhangs are solid parts forming an angle with the normal of the base plane. When this angle is above 45º, supports are in most cases mandatory. But, structures with angles between 45º and 80º can be printed without supports reducing temperature and speed. In this picture, there is a structure with a variable angle from 0 to 85º, to see the evolution of the bottom layers quality. In BCN3D Cura we recommend activating the option Generate Support in order to get a better 3D print.


Angle variation from 0º to 85º.

Would you like to better know any of the parameters described? Contact us at , we love hearing from you!

Post Processing 3D Prints

Post Processing 3D Prints: Finishing Showcase Models and Prototypes

Post processing can do magic. Not only in movies but also with your 3D prints. Post processing techniques like sanding and painting allow you to make your 3D printed creations look and feel like the real thing, including color, texture, weight and function. If you use 3D printing professionally, consider the following easy techniques for turning your models into realistic prototypes, showcase models or movie props. If you’re a hobbyist, these techniques will make your home ornaments, gifts, cosplay accessories and other home projects look just amazing.

In this article we’ll show you how we turned a bunch of 3D printed parts into a fully functioning and professionally looking lamp. We’ll use filler and sanding paper to turn coarse 3D printed texture into a ultra smooth surface. Then we’ll use black paint and varnish to get the right color and finish. For the final effect we’ll install a lighting system.


  • 3D printed lamp elements. Make sure you’re using filament that works well with post production – ABS would be best but PLA will also work. We used a model by Paula Szarejko, you can download it on Instructables.
  • 6 cans of spray filler.
  • 4 cans of spray paint.
  • 3 cans of spray varnish.
  • Water sandpaper.
  • Protective mask. When using chemicals, always wear a protective mask and work in a well ventilated area.
  • LED lighting system. We used 3W modules (the more power, the stronger the light) with 30 W LED power supply and power switch cable.

Step 1. Clean the prints.

Remove all support material left after 3D printing. Use sandpaper to even out texture of your prints until they feel smooth in touch. They don’t need to be “super smooth” yet, that will come after applying filler and paint.

Post processing 1


Step 2. Apply filler, leave to dry.

Apply 3 – 4 layers of filler, each layer after 10 -15 minutes interval. Make sure to work in a ventilated area and wear a protective mask!

Leave to dry for about 2 hours.

Step 3. Use sandpaper to even out the surface.

The best choice of sanding paper would be fine grit, water sandpaper. If the surface of the lamp parts is not smooth enough, you can repeat steps 2 and 3 by adding more filler, leaving to dry and sanding until you get the desired effect.

Step 4. Apply paint.

2-3 layers of paint should suffice. Time to dry: about 2 hours.

Pro tip: use varnish to make the painted surface more durable.

At that point you can glue the parts together and enjoy a 3D printed lamp with industrial finish. You can also go a step further, and add a lighting system to make the lamp actually glow – that’s what we’ll do in the next steps.

Step 5. Install electronics.

If you don’t have any experience with LEDs try tutorials like this one, or ask somebody more experienced to connect all the wires of your lighting system.

The final effect – 3D printed, with post processing and lighting installed.

In this short article, we’ve shown you how to turn “raw” 3D prints into a fully functional, industrial quality lamp by using a few easy post processing techniques. This way you can create professionally looking prototypes and showcase models, or create custom appliances for you and your friends.