Villejuif, France — The world’s first fully rideable all-printed bicycle, created by French company Sculpteo, and containing a number of key polyurethane components has completed a 1000km ride in the US.
3D printed bike takes to the roads
Several critical components of the bike are made from 3D printed rigid polyurethane, including the stem and seatpost. 3D printed flexible and elastomeric polyurethane feature in parts of the brake system. All of these were created using Carbon’s CLIP 3D printing technology.
Sculpteo is an engineering company, not a bike manufacturer, but took on the project as a proof of concept for how the technology might be used.
It took seven weeks for designers Alexandre d’Orsetti and Piotr Widelka to take the project from idea to a rideable bike.
The bike was on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January, and after the show was ridden by its designers to San Francisco, a trip that took 12 days and took them across the Mojave desert and up the Pacific Coast Highway.
Despite encountering cold temperatures, fog, strong winds and rain, challenging rough roads and even a landslide, all parts of the bike proved resilient, with the main problem they encountered involving the glue that held parts of the frame together.
Along the way, the designers realised ways in which the bike could be improved, and started the process of redesigning some of its elements. “Our bike is a work in constant progress, which is one of the great possibilities allowed by digital manufacturing,” they said. “We were looking for a project that would allow us to integrate and test a wide range of the materials and processes offered by Sculpteo, in particular the latest ones like metal 3D printing via DMLS, laser cutting or Carbon’s CLIP resin 3D printing,” explained d’Orsetti.
d’Orsetti added:“A bike is an ensemble of peripherics assembled around one structural element, the frame. This diversity of elements, with specific constraints such as structure and, comfort allowed us to split the project into several sub-projects, and to choose, for each one of them, which technology and material would fit best.”