Italian freestyle and motocross legend Alvaro Dal Farra loves his custom-made bikes so much, he cannot live without them. He writes on his website, “life without the bike would not be possible…I can’t exist without her.” He fell in love with a Malaguti Grizzly bike at the age of three and “immediately started an unbridled love for the motocross.”
With a passion for the sport that runs this deep, Alvaro trusted the equally passionate team of craftsman at Piazza Rosa, a subsidiary of Standex Engraving Mold-Tech, to laser engrave two of his beloved bikes. And now for 2019, he released a third collaborative project, a Kawasaki KX 450 called 3D Core. Made almost entirely of 3D printed components, the red and blue scheme represents a heart, veins and arteries, “that feed the body and allow us to live. The heart is the fulcrum, the engine of life for everything.”
Alvaro turned to the expertise of his brother, Marzio Dal Farra, Technical Manager of Laser Engraving at Piazza Rosa in Belluno Italy, to help realize his vision for a custom bike inspired by his love for the sport. The project presented unique challenges to create and engrave a pattern on the rear swingarm, both front forks, the engine carter and the front and rear wheel hubs.
“Time was very tight,” said Marzio, “we started from a 3D model with the rhombus shape and variable inner holes. We created an algorithm to design a big pattern without repetitions and random seed, finding the best overall outcome on a defined depth of 0.2mm.” The mesh pattern forms a skin, offering a glimpse beneath the surface to reveal the bike’s heart, the red fuel tank.
Marzio’s team created a 3D model of all the needed parts — some came from digital files and others were scanned to determine the precise geometry. The swingarm presented the biggest challenge, Marzio explained, “it had to be designed based on a scanned 3D shape without a clean border or isocurve for direction reference.”
The next challenge then became how to engrave a swingarm with a laser machine built to measure tools that are essentially boxes of metal with very precise and reliable orthogonal flat surfaces for reference. Marzio found the solution by clamping the part to a specially created stand to then run the alignments and zeros. Measurements were taken on the part to align with the 3D model created in CAD. Marking tests were done and finally, the laser engraving machine ran flawlessly with outstanding results.
In January, the bike was released to the public at the Motobike Expo held in Verona, Italy. Journalists call it “dope”, “sick” and “creepy-cool” clearly impressed by the bike’s originally, executed using the latest technology. Fans are now anxious to see Alvaro in action out on the track, riding a bike that truly represents his heart and his deep passion for racing.