Arc Bicycle: 3D printed steel bike
In a three-month project a bicycle frame has been designed by team of students from the Netherlands' Delft University of Technology to showcase the potential of the printing specialists MX3D of Amsterdam and their method of printing metal by three-dimensional means. Development of the 'Arc Bicycle' is part of a research project at AMS Building Fieldlab, and involved use of multi-axis robotic arms to 3D-print the frame. As Harry Anderson of the design team states, "The topic of 3D printing has exploded in popularity over the last decade, but the technology still comes with significant limitations for those wanting to print medium- to large-scale objects. The MX3D method of 3D printing now makes it possible to create large metal objects with almost total form freedom".
Stef de Groot of the Arc Bicycle-Team continues, "For us it was important to design a functional object that people use every day. Being students in the Netherlands, the first things we thought of were bicycles, and a bicycle frame is a good test for the technology because of the complex forces involved." To ensure that the Arc Bicycle lives up to such challenges, the students have being putting it through extensive trial runs by riding it around Delft and its bumpy cobble-stoned streets.
The bicycle weighs about as much as a normal steel one. Dr. Jouke Verlinden, COO at MX3D, coordinated the project, and the student team was made up of Harry Anderson (Industrial Design, RMIT University, Melbourne), Stef de Groot (Industrial Design Engineering, Delft TU), Ainoa Areso Rossi (Civil Engineering, Delft TU), Sjoerd van de Velde (Mechanical Engineering, Delft TU) and Joost Vreeken (Aerospace Engineering, Delft TU) made up the student team.
A film on the project can be accessed here.