3D Printing Ergonomic Tank Extenders with MonkeyGripp and BCN3D

How do MonkeyGripp Use BCN3D technology to print tank extenders for motorbikes?


Solving problems like geometry constraints and slow prototyping times brought about by traditional manufacturing techniques is 3D printing’s speciality.

However, while faster 3D printers are more valuable, speed cannot come at the expense of quality because designers need perfect physical parts to meet performance standards.

US-based company MonkeyGripp knows this well, which is why they use the BCN3D Sigma D25 to manufacture ergonomic tank extenders for riders.

MonkeyGripp’s product is a urethane-coated polyurethane foam tank extension that enhances motorbike rider comfort by letting them grip the tank with the outside leg, which also improves stability during hard braking.

With the help of 3D printing, MonkeyGripp has refined its product, creating prototypes in a matter of days with repeatable quality. The BCN3D Sigma D25 produces smooth, ready-to-use parts, with the tank extender printed in four parts.

3D printing to enhance product development

Motorbike riders need a firm grip on their bikes, using their legs to hug the bike during cornering and braking. However, tanks are not always ergonomic, so gripping them with the outside leg is uncomfortable and not always possible.

MonkeyGripp’s solution is a custom-made tank extender grip that provides more stability, enhancing rider safety and comfort.

Creator Nick Kaplan produces products for MotoAmerica racers Jason Hammer Madama and Kris Lillegard, as well as World Superbike racers Stefano Manzo and Hannes Sommer, so they have to be perfect.

3D printing enables the team to manufacture precision parts in-house without the lead times or hassle of outsourcing.

The tank extender is made by sculpting a 2-part epoxy onto the tank, carefully moulded to take on its shape. The model is then scanned with a 3D scanner, and a print file is made for the BCN3D Sigma D25 to interpret.

“The 3D printers I was using before the Sigma always absorbed massive amounts of time adjusting settings, fine-tuning the hot-end and extruder; it was a frustrating nightmare,” says Nick. “Now, I simply hit ‘print’, walk away, and use my time on other aspects of the business.”

The motorbike tank extender is printed in four parts. Parts are then sanded and assembled, ready to fix onto the tank. The master pattern is painted, and the final product is manufactured with FlexFoam-iT!™ 17.

Here are a few photos of the final product:

We think you’ll agree it looks incredible!

Overall, 3D printing is an essential tool for MonkeyGripp’s product development, providing the means to prototype and keep production in-house. We wish them all the best in future 3D printing projects.

You can view our full range of BCN3D products here.

To find out more about BCN3D, please book a discovery call with our specialist, Ian Smith.

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This story was originally covered on the BCN3D blog.