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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Print Yourself a Bike

No, it is not April 1st

If you have been hibernating, or living under a stone for some time, you may not have heard about 3D printing, which is already revolutionising the manufacture of complex prototype engineering components.
From the basic design details of the part, a 3D printer produces thousands of 2D images, one upon the other, to form (with the addition of heat) the final object.
A rideable bicycle (above) has been produced by some clever guys in Bristol so before you spend your hard earned cash on a new bike, compare it's cost with that of a home 3D printer which would enable you, not only to print the bike, but to print spare parts.
I don't think that pneumatic tyres and tubes can be produced, but amazingly the wheel and bottom bracket bearings were produced with the ball bearings already inside the hub.
Also you can scan your head and produce a perfectly fitting helmet.
Another option with great potential is to produce frame lugs for a bike otherwise traditionally formed of metal or carbon fibre tubing.

If you find all this implausible, take a look at this BBC news item.
Click THIS
and THIS2 to read a Bike Radar article on the subject.


Keith Drury said...

I just love the theorem:

Buy 3D printer
Print 3D printer
Return 3D printer for refund.


Les Sims said...

What a wonderful way to get a free bike!