On the weekend of April 9-10, the London Design Museum will host a live event in which the Bamboo Bicycle Club will build and test the “Bike of the Future”. The club’s Autumn Yard Design Collective designed a fully customizeable bike made of UK grown Bamboo and 3D printed connectors. The idea stemmed from a discussion on sustainability, affordability, and the important role of 3D printing in bike design between the Club’s founder, James Marr, and the Museum’s Cycle Curator, Donna Loveday. It will culminate in this weekend when the connectors will be 3D printed live and the bike will be assembled and ridden. This live event is free and open to the public and the bike’s design is also slated to be freely available. For those spending that weekend in London, it promises to be an interesting and inspiring event. For a little more inspiration, here are 4 previous bike designs that use 3D printed frames, lugs, parts, etc.
First Things First
The first bike frame to be 3D printed by Renishaw was this Empire mountain bike frame. Initially Empire were intrigued by the lighter weight but were later also caught by the other possibilities, like “complexity is free“, offered by 3D printing. Although the frame doesn’t have that lacy look, it is lighter and stronger (thanks to internal complexity) than Empires previous frames.
Designer Ralf Holleis‘ VRZ track bike is made of carbon tubes connected with 3D printed metal lugs. Version 1 had stainless steel lugs and version 2 had titanium lugs (see detail above). Holleis hand finished the lugs and put the bike together, as can be seen in the video below. The bike is fully customizeable – the software will automatically adjust the lugs as the frame is changed.
Solid as a Bike
Solid (above and up top) is a design of INDUSTRY in collaboration with Ti Cycles. The designers claim this commuter bike was inspired by admiration for the spirit of Portland Oregon. There is a special “get to know your city” app that comes with it and includes 5 city tours. The app communicates with the bike providing the rider with haptic (touch) navigation guidance.
Over the Bridge
A group of students from TU Delft in the Netherlands teamed up with MX3D, co-founded by designer Joris Laarman, to create this metal bike frame. MX3D is using the same technique they plan to use for the Amsterdam canal bridge to create this steel frame, this is evident in the resulting texture (see detail below).