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Shapeways & Montague Bikes Team Up to Make Aluminum 3D Printed Folding Bicycles

by • February 23, 2016 • No Comments

download (10)We’ve written of numerous 3D printed bikes over time, of racing models to those created with really odd materials and in fact a few created in miniature. If you understand any serious cyclists, you are many likely well aware that they are a bit of a different—and passionate—breed, and they frequently like to fix, tinker, a fewtimes in fact re-engineer their set of wheels. With that said, it’s no surprise that many of them embrace 3D printing.

The use of this new innovation in building bikes of all sorts is a excellent example of how beneficial the system can be for designing and making custom parts, rapidly, affordably, either at the PC or with the assist of an experienced service bureau like Shapeways.

A new Shapeways project showcasing the foldable-bodied, 3D printed bicycles created at Montague Bike shows off not only all of the benefits of via 3D printing, but in addition highlights how the system is evolving for designers and smaller in size manufacturers, as they are able-bodied to lay out their creations and prototypes in plastic and and so move on to via one of the many talked about systemes and materials today—with metal 3D printing. This all melds in with Shapeways, their services, and their new 3D printing aluminum material.

Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Montague Bikes is a mid-sized company involved in researching, developing, designing, and testing bikes—that they and so in addition donate. Due to the Shapeways services, they have been able-bodied to use 3D printing to speed up production enormously, with the materials only adding to performance and their famous compactness.

“Shapeways has been a immense value to us by shortening the lead time of concept to product testing,” said Mark Walker, who is involved with R&D for Montague. “Before, it may take months to CNC hard parts, frequently to find they did not fit the bill. Now, in a matter of days, Shapeways prints our parts initially in plastic – allowing us to rapidly evaluate the form and fit of the concept.”

Screen-Shot-2016-02-05-at-5.28.19-PM-625x272With the prototype initially created in plastic, the company can do a few fairly extensive testing, and in fact see how riders are able-bodied to interact. Walker points out that is a much additional effective method than only via CAD/CAE. In being able-bodied to evaluate the concept with human interaction and fit and form, they are and so able-bodied to go on to the future stage much additional rapidly, where Shapeways prints the foldable-bodied bikes in metal.

“Upon validating printed metal parts, depending on the project, we can frequently go straight to production, skipping CNC altogether,” says Walker.

Being able-bodied to use aluminum is a significant plus for the company, as they are able-bodied to remain really competitive with other companies and create bikes faster.

“Having the skill to print in aluminum has been immense for the reason it accelerates our path to production,” said Walker.

Paratrooper-Elite-Wheelie-sm-625x415It may seem that the way the Montague Bikes team is able-bodied to collaborate with Shapeways is a truly winning formula of development to testing to production—and both speed and high end figure in equally. They are able-bodied to get a true feel for how their creations can function and have the most of all worlds in prototyping plastic preceding going on to metal. Mark mentions that in a few cases, they have in fact been able-bodied to weld 3D printed aluminum parts to existing frames in their shop.

“Once eager to print in metal, the really great thing of Shapeways aluminum is that it is DMLS systemed, that has enable-bodiedd us to perform post machining (e.g. tapping threads) as well as welding – in order to evaluate the function of sure parts in the larger context of our bicycles,” states Walker.

As 3D printing offers so much to an industry like that of bicycle manufacture, the way that companies working together have been able-bodied to use different types of materials and systemes in fact additional beneficially is really astounding. Certainly Montague Bikes is a excellent example for Shapeways to share, as their product is one that is intrinsically versatile—and unique—due to its folding nature that offers cyclists additional options in transportation. Dedicated to revealing what high high end they can create in folding bikes, with 3D printed aluminum they are able-bodied to add sufficient durablity and mass, while yet giving the user a high end product they can easily fit into their trunk, train, or keep in a closet. Are you surprised to hear that Shapeways can assist manufacture these foldable-bodied bikes? Discuss in the 3D Printed Aluminum Foldable-bodied Bikes forum over at 3DPB.com.