Creating bikes and parts with a 3D printer

For the geeks out there (like me..)

Could you ride a bicycle that came out of a printer?

Today, 3D printing is very much helping the way bicycles are designed. Many bicycle manufacturers are finding benefits of the technology, using 3D printers to build prototypes of parts.

While it might sound like a brand new technology, the first 3D printer was based around a technique called sterolithography that was invented in 1984. This used a UV laser beam to trace a slice of an object on the surface of a liquid, which caused a thin layer to harden. With each pass the object is built up.

Today there are several methods of 3D, which are all based around additive technology. In this system objects are built up in layers that are bonded or otherwise fused together and the process can take several minutes or even hours to complete.

But for designers being able to see an actual product – even as a mockup – in the real world in a minutes or hours sure beats the time it could take to craft something in metal.

While the use of 3D printing isn’t likely making the bikes faster, it is speeding the development. Designers can go from transforming a design that exists on the screen screen to seeing a real 3D model in a short amount of time.

Read full article here.


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