Customizable Frame: 3D Printing In Bike Industry (VIDEO)

3D printing is a manufacturing process that lets a designer “grow” complex structures that could be impossible to mill or cast. The first 3D bike rolled off a printer a couple years ago. Flying Machine Studios, based in Australia, has taken a hybrid approach with its F1 commuter bike.

Brazing the brave new world of 3D printed lugs with off-the-shelf titanium tubing, the F1 enables a bike with personalized geometry.

The bike isn’t entirely 3D-printed — just the lugs that connect the titanium tubing. By adjusting angles and lengths of the lugs that link the tubes, the frame can be easily tweaked to make the bike fit any body type. This is far from the first bike to use 3D printing. Empire Cycles built the first fully-printed frame, the MX6-R, last year.

The printed parts were bonded together using an aerospace-grade epoxy. The MX6-R frame is 33% lighter and six times stronger than its aluminum counterpart. The catch? Empire’s prototype costs a staggering $30,000. … (read more)