Bike pushes the limits of 3D Printing

ColorFab,  2 december 2015
Finealo LR.22

3D printers are getting more and more into our everyday lives. Also, everyday objects are coming more and more out of regular 3D printers! Recently, this race track bike came out of a regular desktop 3D printer at colorFabb‘s print lab. The bike has been developed to demonstrate that a 3D Printed racing bike can be produced on a regular, commercially available 3D Printer, pusing new composite materials. The design goal was to use the bike in real life, under normal circumstances.

Printing the entire bike frame would take too much time and material, so ColorFabb decided to print the lugs and connect tubes to them. The result is an amazingly strong bike frame at an acceptable weight.
The company ColorFabb is frequently developing new filaments. The latest achievement is XT-CF20, a carbon fiber filled filament based Amphora 3D polymer, a plastic especially engineered for 3D printing. The 20% carbon fiber content makes the 3D Printed parts especially strong and stiff.

ColorFabb is trying to get the most possible out of desktop 3D printers. They do this by exploring new materials solutions. The bike concept is focusing on printing functional parts that will be mechanically loaded. For printing it, they selected ColorFabb_XT-CF20 because of its outstanding high stiffness / elongation ratio.

They also want to bring 3D printing closer to the industry. This bike serves as an inspiration for other engineers to show what 3D printing can do nowadays and realize their own project with this technique. Details like the seat clamp are also fully working. The static of the bike frame has been tested with a FEM analysis and in real life use.

The big benefit of making your own bike is that the sizes of the bike can be customized manually before 3D printing to preserve best ergonomics. Various types of tubing can be used including carbon, titanium, aluminum or bamboo.

3D printing allows a huge freedom of forms and allows unique features in the design. This has been used to implement a new kind of adhesive distribution system. With this technique one can assemble the bike and add an polyurethane adhesive which distributes itself to the right places without getting your hands dirty. This perticular design can be customized and 3D printed on any desktop 3D printer like the Ultimaker, LeapFrog, Mass Portal, Makerbot and many others. The strength of the bike frame has been tested with a FEM analysis and, of course in real life use.


3D printed bike 

ColorFab was dit jaar exposant op de door Mikrocentrum georganiseerde vakbeurs RapidPro.