Tarform Motorcycles, developing electric motorcycles thanks to 3D printing
Tarform Motorcycles is a Brooklyn-based startup that specializes in motorcycle development using new technologies. And it’s no surprise that 3D printing is part of the deal. The objective of the company is to design motorcycles based on the latest trends in the sector and find the best design adapted to the needs of users, whilst adopting environmentally friendly materials. To learn more about the entire process of developing their motorcycles, we met Taras Kravchouk, CEO of Tarform Motorcylces.
Can you present yourself and tell us about when you first approached 3D printing technologies?
My name is Taras Kravtchouk (CEO, Co-Founder & Head Designer at Tarform). My background is predominantly in industrial design, but I like to explore and dive into different fields of design. A few years ago I started a makerspace in Brooklyn where artists and creatives could teach their craft ranging from motorcycle building to metal fabrication.
The idea of using additive manufacturing during the prototyping stage of the Tarform motorcycle felt like a natural step considering the accessibility of additive manufacturing and the wide range of materials available today. Among other things, it allowed us to test, design and iterate parts inhouse at low cost to optimize the design in every way possible without investing into expensive tooling or manufacturing methods.
How did the idea of creating Tarform Motorcycles come up?
The idea of building a new breed of electric motorcycles came to me when I was working on my old Triumph Scrambler. I was very surprised when I realized that no one had developed a new system of building vehicles in a 100 years. With the rising interest within the electric vehicle industry overall, I asked myself why no one has had the same impact with an electric motorcycle. Two years ago I started to design an electric motorcycle embodying the future of vehicles on two wheels. In the beginning, my main focus was to use modern technologies, combined with using sustainable materials, while still referencing motorcycle design of the past.
It later pivoted towards pushing the boundaries of manufacturing and design, including but not limited to utilizing a lot of 3D printing technologies.
Can you explain to us about the development process for your motorbikes?
I started designing the Tarform Scrambler about two years ago. As we moved forward in the process I realized the endless opportunities and inherent depth of developing a premium/cutting edge electric motorcycles. I wanted to revive the classic form, and unite it with modern day technology to create a new riding experience . In my opinion there is a disconnect between current motorcycle design and what the younger generation finds appealing. Once we started to optimize our design for low volume manufacturing, the idea of using traditional methods did not make much sense, neither from an economic perspective, nor from a design perspective. As a result, I started exploring with various advanced manufacturing methods. Due to the advances within the 3D printing sector we managed to design and manufacture a motorcycle using sustainable materials, minimize waste and modify parts on the spot.
What’s the importance of additive manufacturing technologies for Tarform?
Additive manufacturing has played a large role in the development process for Tarform. As I mentioned, the use of 3D printing allowed us to optimize parts due to the inherent rapid speed of prototyping and it gave us the opportunity to use a lot of sustainable materials in the manufacturing process. On a general level, most exterior parts on the bike were 3D printed using various printers such as FDM, SLS, SLA technology. We worked with EOS (a global leader in additive manufacturing) and created parts such as 3D printed levers out of aluminum, logos and dashboard trims in 3D printed brass with Shapeways. A lot of internal mounts, headlight lens and lens bucket where 3D printed out of biodegradable PLA. The body style and the side panels where reinforced using ECO flax fiber instead of carbon fiber.
Your motorbikes are developed with sustainable materials, can you tell us more about this? Why this is important for Tarform?
The transportation networks in larger metropolitan cities are on the verge of collapse and cities are becoming increasingly congested with traffic. As a result CO2 levels in the atmosphere are increasing and the environment is inarguably falling apart. To me, the idea of using sustainable materials is not just because it’s technically viable and efficient, but also because it’s the right thing to do. We are a company that produces physical things. Being sustainable is not just a nice thing, it is our duty to create products that are not wasteful and do everything we can to produce products that does not harm our environment. If companies like Tarform, who aspires to grow and evolve as a brand does not take a stand early on it’ll be too late. We want to show people that being sustainable does not have to be a compromise and that there is technology available to us to move towards more sustainable practices.
Do you have any last words to our readers?
Our vision is to create an aspirational brand that embraces design with new technology. If you believe in what we do, join the Tarform community by pre-ordering a motorcycle or simply follow our progress on Instagram and/or via our newsletter on our website.
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