3D Printed Bicycle
3D printing is rapidly developing. There will be a time when we would customize all our designs as we would be able get them printed easily and we might costantly create new designs. Recently, a team of students from TU Delft released the project of a 3D printed bicycle.
Netherlands is famous for bike riding, so when it came to decide a project to be 3D printed, the student team from TU delft couldn’t help but think about a fully functional stainless steel bicycle. Also, a bicycle frame is a structure that has complex forces involved resulting into a good test for the new technology.
The project was produced the Industrial Design Engineering 3D building field lab. The metal 3D printing was carried out with a help of a welding machine. The 3 month project was completed with the help of MX3D and R&D start up, Amsterdam.
The 3D printing is a technology which is now blooming all over the word. The printing started with small scale objects to medium and then large scale objects. The bigger the scale, the limitations increases. The aim of the company MX3D was to develop 3D printing in a way that there is almost total form freedom.
The company has specialised in multi-axis 3D printing using robotic arms. Basically, without any support structures they are printing the metal and resins in the middle of the air. How cool is that?
MX3D supported the student’s project with their equipment so as to test the new technology for their upcoming project. Together with their partners such as Autodesk and Arcelor Mittal, they are developing a 3D printed steel bridge in Amsterdam.
The web layer structured bicycle weighs slightly more than usual ones but is still less than 20kg. The students tested the strength of the bicycle, pedalling around the city of Delft. In total of 100 hours split over several weeks took to the printing process known as Wire and Arch Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) to produce the frame of the ‘Arc Bicycle’.
This technology is the next step in the age of 3D printing. It adds the flexibility into our design world and also tells us the potential of 3D printing in the future. The Arc bicycle by the team of students is hard to miss with the intricate design and technology it involves. The start is amazing, and the team have a long way to peddle.
by : Sanjana Malhotra
Harry Anderson (Industrial Design, RMIT University, Melbourne)
Stef de Groot (Industrial Design Engineering, TU Delft)
Ainoa Areso Rossi (Civil Engineer, TU Delft)
Sjoerd van de Velde (Mechanical Engineering, TU Delft)
Joost Vreeken (Aerospace Engineering, TU Delft)
Coordinated by: Dr. Jouke Verliden