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Thunderbike depends on hyperMILL from Open Mind

The multiple award-winning custom bike manufacturer Thunderbike manages its large number of individually machined parts using the CAM suite hyperMILL from Open MInd Technologies AG.


The motorcycle manufacturer also works with hyperCAD for production-related design tasks. Thanks to the 5axis machining strategies from hyperMILL the number of operations could in part be halved and the run times significantly reduced, particularly for the elaborate, fully-milled wheels.

Thunderbike used original Harley Davidson parts for the drive technology and electronics system. All other parts are custom design and manufactured in-house. 80 percent of the exclusive individual pieces from the motorcycle company from Hamminkeln in the Lower Rhine are new milled parts. They are manufactured on several 5 axis machining centres. A wheel design that resembles turbine blades with its internal free-form surfaces is just one example of the particular challenges encountered. Here the hyperMILL strategies stock roughing and rest material roughing are used. Functions which noticeably simplify programming can be effective for transforming already programmed component areas.

Programming is crucial for the quality of the machined parts together with the postprocessor from Open Mind and the graphical simulation of machining processes. Turn-mill jobs based on 5 axis technology require reliable collision checks in order for the operator to be sure that the planned processes are actually possible. The perfect interaction between hyperMILL and the control system used by Thunderbike, the Heidenhain TNC 640, is a result of the close cooperation of the two manufacturers. “The achieved surface accuracy is outstanding, and it is made possible because the new control and the machine implement the smallest details specified in the CAM system to the dot. Much like how a high resolution photograph has a stronger impact, our design is augmented by the new system,” explains Herbert Niehues, responsible for the production of custom bikes.