Bicycles – New Options with 3D Printing Technology

Bicycles are second only to motor vehicles when it comes to traveling short distances. Not only are bicycles a wonderful source of exercise, they are affordable and leave a very small carbon footprint. This is precisely why more people are choosing bicycles as their primary source of transportation in an effort to reduce greenhouse gasses on Earth.

The world of 3D printing technology has made great strides in the last decade. More and more objects are being created using 3D printing because they are cheaper, more efficient, and tailored to fit individual’s needs.

What Are the Benefits of Creating Bicycles with 3D Printing Technology?

There are a multitude of benefits that accompany the 3D printing of any object. An object that has been produced with 3D printing technology is customized to the very minute detail to meet the user’s needs. A bicycle, for example, may need to fit a certain height or weight requirement in order to be accepted. A certain design or aerodynamic characteristic may be desired or required for a bicycle to be accepted. Whatever the case may be, customization is one of the largest benefits of 3D printing technology.

Items that are printed using 3D technology are generally created quickly and with very little error. The bicycle is custom made so that it has a one-piece frame and tires. The fact that there are not a hundred tiny pieces that must be created and then shipped to a central location factor into the quick turnaround time for the creation of a 3D printed bicycle. Conventionally, the delay on one piece could halt the production of a bicycle indefinitely.

The carbon footprint left behind by creating a 3D printed bicycle are much smaller than that of a bicycle produced conventionally. Again, the bicycle is printed in one piece. This one-piece design eliminates the necessity of having to have multiple plants mass producing multiple bicycle pieces. When there is no need for a myriad of bicycle plants, then the impact that a plant has on the environment decreases significantly.

Are There Success Stories Out There from Those Who Have Built 3D Printed Bicycles?

Yes, there are a handful of success stories out there that are told by individuals that have created bicycles using 3D Printing Technology. Below are two examples of recent success stories.

The Belgian 3D printing company Materialise and the Italian automotive brand Nuova SPA recently partnered together to create a unique 3D printed Bicicletto e-bike. This duo was motivated to make the bicycle lighter, faster, and more cost-efficient to manufacture. The partners are proud to put forth a bicycle that blends the need for innovation with the love of classic design.

MX3D partnered with Dutch students from Delft University of Technology to create the Arc Bicycle using a combination of 3D printing technology and a welding process. Robotic arms act as 3D printers that require no stabilization and welding ultimately completes the process. MX3D worked with these students in an effort to perfect the technology that they plan to use on their bridge project. The students involved in this process were deeply motivated by the need to make a functional, every-day item that would ultimately contribute to a more sustainable environment.