Signifiers from specific eras WERE EVALUATED through comparison. What is still present in the consumer’s mindset? What is no longer relevant? These dwell within the context of that era, in economical, social, and industrial contexts. Once the social context changes, so should the product. This does not imply that everything about the product should be discarded, as it is part of the consumer’s desire to have keepsakes from a different era and context. But this means that a gap exists to be explored. The product should be a hybrid of the most relevant keepsakes from the prior context, and the most strongly driven signifiers of the new context.
Each designer has the power to be a conduit to a demographic, as long as they understand the affordances being considered and the desires of that user group. Desire is a taboo word in the context of fortification of consumerism, but it will always retain the raw meaning of craving. Our context today is different than the context of 20, 30, or 40 years ago. And this is not only because customs have changed, but also because what science and engineering made possible has changed. We can now do the unimaginable, and develop solutions that bridge the gap between reality and imagination. This modern, fabrication context has the power to bring each of us closer to self-expression through industrial design.
The Internet allowed 20th century earthlings to share their capabilities, to show who they are and how well they can dance, jump, play, sing, and live. This is self-expression; it is the need to share that we are capable of doing something. Humans can be limitless when someone is watching. In this amazing, creativity-infused context, we are receiving the tools that will define the century and in the recent past, starting to print three-dimensional forms from raw material.
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The final result represents much of the desired and expected 3D-printed aesthetic, with exposed ABS fibers and sharp edges in a nearly impossible-to-mold complex geometry.
The proof of concept through the completion of the fairings was empowered by the support of a community that believed in the DESIGN, along with the will to see IT leave the binary and enter reality. The model is also very mechanically resilient, with enough structure to serve confidently as a final wind-fending structure, resisting the environment before and after installation. The project result was considered quite successful, given most of the project’s prior-defined goals and intentions, Its success speaks to the strength of the maker community, and to the strong will to build it for yourself, solve a problem, leave no stone unturned, and learn every single aspect of your passion. It also speaks to the heritage within the motorcycle community, with its long-held passion for and preservation of timeless industrial design.
Most important, it speaks to the exciting new context and potential afforded by the advent of 3D printing technology, which now makes the previously impossible possible.
WITH FOCUS on user needs, why, and how it is based on the context, is crucial to human-centered design. Such design is not the final goal, but is part of the toolkit used to arrive at the finish line, with a strong, usable, and relatable product. This approach will take into account the evaluation of key aspects of the user’s lifestyle. This project will not be to focus on a specific problem, but on the backbone of the user group’s desires. Those will be included in this snapshot about the intersection between classic industrial design and the new, “maker” culture. Empathy with a user is key to designing for a group, without necessarily understanding every single aspect of that group.
The project also took into consideration the required final aesthetics of use of this specific FINAL CONTEXT, with its quality of visible ABS fibers AND MECHANICALS. The project is meant to responsibly consider both manufacturing and social context, expressed in this specific concept by the merging of vintage race fairings ingrained with a modern 3D-printed-specific aesthetic. This is a production grade thermoplastic, and thanks to Stratasys proprietary technology and engineered material, the 3D printed parts subjected to testing resisted in yield tensile strength tests up to 4,550 psi in the XZ axis and 3,750 psi ZX axis. Also on the ABS-M30™ material fact sheet the material was tested to resist flexural strength tests up to 8,700 psi in the XZ axis and 7,000 psi in the ZX axis.
The printing process of the complete fairings was split between 6 different batches,
according to the limits of the 3D printer and length of the printing session:
Part 1 Core Headlight - 78 hours | Part 2 Top Left Section - 46 hours | Part 3 Top Right Section - 46 hours
Part 4 Bottom Right Section - 56 hours | Part 5 Bottom Left Section - 48 hours | Part 6 Extremities - 12 hours
“ABS-M30™ is up to 25 to 70 percent stronger than standard ABS, and is an ideal material for conceptual modeling, functional prototyping, manufacturing tools, and end-use parts. ABS-M30 has greater tensile, impact, and flexural strength than standard ABS. Layer bonding is also significantly stronger than standard ABS, for a more durable part. This results in more realistic functional tests and higher quality parts for end use. ABS-M30 parts are stronger, smoother and have better feature detail.”
Stratasys ABS-M30™ production-grade fact sheet.
Special thanks to andre yousefi, kurt dammerman, ted bryant, eric johnson and the support of lime lab in the development of the model.