Product Details Supplier Info More products

KTM Sportmotorcycle, a builder of two-wheeled, off-road high-performance and racing machines, is using prototype and production parts supplied by Protomold, the Proto Labs rapid injection moulding service, to meet tight deadlines and to ensure the suitability of components for use in its motorbikes.

The company builds just 110,000 specialist motorcycles a year that are ‘ready to race’ the moment they leave the factory. A part failure due to a material or design defect can have serious implications for both the competitor and KTM’s reputation.

A new part is initially developed as a 3D CAD model in Proengineer Wildfire and is subjected to extensive static and dynamic finite-element stress analysis. When the CAD design is finalised, the company uses Moldflow to simulate the injection-moulding process, and only then can a prototype part be made for physical real-world testing.

KTM’s first project with Proto Labs’ Protomold service was a cover for a silencer on the exhaust. The company’s budget for tooling was €25,000–€30,000 (£21,400–£25,700) and the company could not risk going straight to production with a new design.

On testing the prototype delivered by Protomold, KTM discovered that the part it had designed in plastic was not durable enough. The company decided to make the part from metal. Had it not made the prototype with Proto Labs, it would have wasted a great deal of time and money and may have ended up with a sub-standard part on the bike.

Key benefits of product application

  • The prototype parts from Proto Labs were delivered quickly and enabled KTM to undertake full testing to evaluate their suitability.
  • The company also used Proto Labs to optimise the design of a filter compartment cover that had previously been made of metal. Time was short and series production was imminent, and so KTM turned to Proto Labs and Protomold. The parts developed by Proto Labs enabled finished production parts to be tested by TÜV to achieve certification.
  • In a third example — a rear-view mirror for the KTM 1190 Adventure — Protomold enabled KTM to meet a very tight deadline to enable TÜV certification as well as the new bike’s display at the Intermot trade show a full year ahead of schedule.
  • Only a few visitors to KTM’s booth noticed that the mirrors on the bike present and those shown in the photo on the promotional poster were different — using Protomold, the company redesigned and made the new part quicker than the printer could produce an updated illustration.

Proto Labs

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Proto Labs delivers fully functional prototypes in production-intent materials to dramatically cut the cost and time normally associated with product development. This empowers designers and engineers with the means to rapidly develop, test, and get their products to market first in an ever-competitive global market place.

Protomold delivers injection-moulded parts from moulds manufactured utilising state-of-the-art high-speed CNC machining technologies. Parts can be moulded using almost any engineering-grade resin and are ideal for prototyping, bridge tooling and low-volume production.

First Cut satisfies the need for functional prototypes much earlier in the development cycle for quantities of 1–10+. Because First Cut delivers prototypes in engineering-grade resins and aluminium they will have real material properties and improved surface finishes. In other words, they will be functional.

When you submit your 3D CAD model, Proto Labs’ powerful super-compute cluster creates an interactive quote giving pricing options and where appropriate, suggesting changes to improve manufacturability. You simply interact with your quote online, tailor options such as material and delivery to your requirements and with every change, the pricing information automatically updates. This built-in ‘what-if’ analysis enables last-minute project refinements to be accommodated at the click of a button.

View full profile