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Cycles of the Future

March 21, 2014

Product Design Prof. Mark Hjeltness’ Motorcycle History and Design class spent 10 weeks conceptualizing, designing and modeling ultra-cool, high-performance bikes that might just be seen in showrooms in the future.

The course gave students a broad survey of motorcycle history, including a look at American and British motorcycle development, as well as a review of basic mechanical operation and vocabulary. Students were then immersed in a demanding process that tackled several design challenges at once. They worked individually and in teams to produce detailed renderings of bikes, scale models, and presentations on their creations.

The resulting bikes were designed to be lightweight, very fast and able to handle sharp turns with ease. They include a futuristic, transformer-inspired bike, as well as a breathtaking model crafted out of existing parts that could feasibly be built and operated now. The students will present posters of their designs at Research Day 2014 on April 10.

PROD 465 was an interdisciplinary venture composed of students from Product Design, Entertainment & Arts Management (EAM), Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering – each bringing a valuable skill set to the team. They tackled engineering problems and discussed design criteria to deliver original motorcycle designs in just three weeks. Product Design sophomore Arvid Roach created digital models of the bikes using the 3D CAD design software program SolidWorks.