Located in Orange County, New York, Orange County Choppers creates custom and production motorcycles for their clients. The company brought in a lot of attention after being showcased on Discovery Channel’s American Chopper and has been successful ever since. In order to meet the demands of their expanding customer base, the company recently acquired an industrial grade 3D printer – the Fortus 400MC system from Stratasys.
In response to a customer’s ambitious request, Orange County Choppers recently des igned a bike in the shape of a Chinese dragon. Custom motorcycles, by the nature, require many complex parts to be created. While the business has had numerous distinctive requests and extensive experience in the industry, this specific project required heavy use of CAD design and 3D printing. OCC designed the dragon’s head through computer-aided design software with great amount of detail, the part which highlights the entire dragon theme of the bike.
Graphic designer for Orange County Choppers, Jason Pohl, says additive manufacturing provides many benefits and increases efficiency for the business "We would have had to scale back the design in order to keep a lid on the time and cost required to manufacture the part," Mr Pohl remarked. The use of 3D printing allowed the designer to create the dragonhead without having to worry about the limits in the production process.
Pohl stated in the past, OCC would need to create the dragon’s head through cutting the shape out of high-density foam using numerous steps to achieve the correct undercuts and angles. "The Fortus machine captured every detail down to the ribs on the roof of the dragon's mouth. When I put the head on my desk, it felt like it was going to come to life any second," he revealed. Through utilizing the full benefits of the 3D printer, the designer was also able to create a lightweight product, a benefit which couldn’t be done through traditional production.