Tessa’s Weekly Picks – 3D Printed Bicycle Parts

2020-05-29

Tessa Blokland  

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On June 3, it is World Bicycle Day. Why? According to the World Health Organization, the bicycle is a simple, affordable, reliable, clean, environmentally-fit, and sustainable means of transportation. It can serve as a tool for development and as a means not just of transportation but also of access to education, healthcare, and fitness. The synergy between the bicycle and the user fosters creativity and social engagement, giving the user an immediate awareness of the local environment. On top of that, the bicycle is a symbol of sustainable transportation, conveying a positive message,  fostering sustainable consumption and production, and has a positive impact on the climate. This blog post honors the bicycle and its separate parts.

A good saddle is worth investing in! The S-Works Power Saddle (top image) and the fizik’s Adaptive saddle are both 3D printed, have lattice geometries for breathability to improve comfort and use pressure mapping data to create a streamlined saddle that is lightweight, supportive and comfortable even after some hours of cycling. Thanks to 3D printing it will even be possible to customize the saddles to each individual customer.

When I went to high school I had to cycle for 15 kilometers back and forth. These 3D printed bicycle tires would have been a great solution! Cycling for 15 kilometers was not that bad, but walking back home after a day full of school was the worst thing that could happen!

The 3D printed gears you see here are from CeramicSpeed, a Danish manufacturing company producing hybrid bearings. Thanks to 3D printing they were able to experiment and improve their products to be more affordable, lower production time, but also the ability to produce extremely lightweight components.

What you see here is a 3D titanium printed crank by Bastion Cycles, based in Australia. Thanks to 3D printing the company can tailor each bike to the measurements of the rider, enhancing comfort, speed, and performance, important elements especially when it comes to competing in the Olympics or other races.

The last example is a 3D printed bicycle part from British bicycle tubing specialists, Reynolds. Also here with the capabilities of 3D printing stainless steel and titanium, the company can create unique components and bicycle frames with shortened production processes. These customized components can be built to improve a cyclist’s riding experience. Because of 3D printing, the production process enables frame parts with cleaner edges and tighter tolerances, removing the metering process for tubes on the bicycle, which is a time-consuming process for a frame builder. Another advantage, according to the website is, that 3D printing enables the production of far more intricate shapes than what is possible with casting or forging. This allows the construction of internal pockets, which reduces the bicycle frame weight and holds internal cables.

Hmmm, after reading this all, I might consider changing my creaky bike to a somewhat more advanced 3D printed aesthetically-pleasing, high-performing, yet still affordable bicycle.

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Each of Tessa’s weekly picks is a curated group of 3D printed designs, based on the week’s chosen theme. If you would like to offer a theme for Tessa, or if you have your own 3D printed weekly picks you would like to see featured, please let us know by commenting below. Subscribe to the newsletter to get the latest weekly picks every week in your mailbox.

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