Table of contents:
- Picture gallery
- First phase: production of a prototype with 3D printing
- Second phase: production of the aluminum prototype from one piece
- Third phase: rapid casting and pre-series
Video: How The Motor Housing Of The Energica Ego Electric Sports Motorcycle Was Developed
The motor housing of a powerful electric motorcycle like the Energica Ego is an important component. It protects and supports the drive unit. The gearbox of the e-sports motorcycle has a cascade of straight-toothed gears, which bring the number of revolutions of the pinion to the desired angular speed. The system consists of a shaft on which the sprocket is mounted, which engages in the chain to transmit the movement to the ring connected to the rear wheel. All these components work together to drive the motorcycle.
Picture gallery with 8 pictures
When designing the engine case, the Energica and CRP team had to take various requirements into account:
- Lightness (since the electric motor is heavy, the housing must be light)
- High resistance (because the motor generates high torque)
- Correct dimensioning of the gears and suitable choice of materials
The motor housing should also serve to support the frame.
First phase: production of a prototype with 3D printing
First, the CRP team made a prototype using 3D printing and Windform composite materials.
The material LX 2.0 is a polyamide-based composite reinforced with glass fibers. These have now been replaced by the further development of Windform LX 3.0, a non-conductive and temperature-resistant material. The prototype was created using SLS technology. This allowed the technicians to validate the CAD drawing while the Energica mechanics were able to work on the development of the model. The prototype could be mounted directly on the motorcycle, which allowed a complete review of the most important critical points in connection with the assembly of the individual parts (machining tolerances, frame entry, assembly of the gears and their correct function, cable bushings).
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“It was extremely important for us to be able to touch the prototype of the motor housing made with 3D printing and windform with our hands,” explain the technicians at the Energica Motor Company. "In this way, we were able to specifically analyze whether the part is easy to assemble and disassemble, whether all parts are easily accessible, whether it is possible to use standard keys, etc. Because we have to put ourselves in the position of those who have to operate the finished motorcycle - that is to the customers, but also to dealers and mechanics of the authorized workshops. For example, one of the most common design flaws is that access to a screw is hidden by the frame. You might recognize the error in the CAD drawing, but due to the many components and the complex interaction,one also overlooks one or the other problem. The ability to analyze the part in the form of a functional prototype and mount it directly on the motorcycle is a great help.”
Another example with which the technicians explain the advantage of the prototype is as follows: The motor housing, which is made with 3D printing, makes it possible to see the oil channels and to analyze the channels leading from the pump to the engine in the best possible way.
Second phase: production of the aluminum prototype from one piece
After the CAD file was validated, the task was to select the materials for the production of a prototype from an aluminum alloy.
The requirements were:
- Temperature resistance
After choosing the two aluminum alloys (6082 and Ergal 7075), CRP manufactured the one-piece motor housing with 5-axis production systems from CRP Meccanica.
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The central part of the housing, which is also the largest, was initially equipped with a through window. This made it possible to position the motor inside. A lockable lid was provided on each side. The assembly of the gear cascade was planned on one of the two sides, on which an additional cover was then installed. In the lower part was the shaft for transmitting the movement to the pinion, as well as the oil pan. The engineers chose alloy 6082 for the majority of the housing and Ergal 7075 for the covers.
“This phase was completed in a very short time. CRP strongly supported us and we had no problems with the part, neither during the tests on the test bench nor during assembly on the motorcycle: The required tolerances were very complicated and strict because the project had two rows of bearings (those on the engine plus those on the outside of the shaft), which had to ensure the proper functioning of the gears. Then we were able to validate the project on the road. ", Explain the Energica technicians,"
Third phase: rapid casting and pre-series
The next phase involved the production of the models for the pre-series. In this case, the CRP team chose the rapid casting process with cast aluminum and sintered sand, as this technology can be implemented very quickly. In addition: "For this prototype, we chose the alloy that was selected for the next phase, final production," explains the CRP team. In this way, studies, changes and modifications could be carried out directly on the casting, which made the final validation of the project possible.
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