Meet the Ultralight, 3D Printed Single-Speed Bike From CoreTechnologie
In 2022, between 17 and 20 million bicycles were sold around the world. Among the most desirable bikes, light, inexpensive and functional is the ideal formula that attracts the average cyclist shopper. Putting these principles into practice, CoreTechnologie has developed a superlight single-speed bicycle that can be made from a 3D printer. The reasoning behind their choice for 3D printing the bike is their desire to produce goods quickly, inexpensively, and without complication. What is the advantage given to them through 3D printing? The ability to automate the manufacturing process and produce independently of outside supply chains.
Founded in the late 1990s, CoreTechnologie made a name for itself as a 3D CAD software developer, most notably with its flagship product, 3D_Evolution. CoreTechnologie is now a global player with offices in France, Japan and the USA, in addition to its headquarters near Frankfurt, Germany. Through their bicycle project, CoreTechnologie has demonstrated the effectiveness of modern hardware and software which can handle the entire production process from the initial digital design to the final additive manufacturing production process. Astoundingly, the idea for the 3D printed single-speed bike was implemented in record time, with the first prototype ready after just two months.
Minimalist Design, Technologically Crafted
The bike consists of component parts made from aluminum and carbon fiber tubes. The aluminum connecting parts were 3D printed in-house, while the extremely lightweight carbon fiber tubes were produced by Carbonforce; a company specializing in carbon fiber products. To bind all the pieces together, they used a two-component adhesive commonly used in the aircraft industry. In its completed state, the bike only weighs 7.1kg (15.6 lbs) and has been tested on different surfaces and in various conditions to ensure its quality.
The design is based on a 56cm (22″) frame, which was optimized by CAD software and fine-tuned during 3D rendering. In-house software 4D_Additive was also used to improve the wall thicknesses of the individual parts and create the final surface texture before printing using a selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printer. Using CAD design and 3D printing gave the designers a large degree of freedom, which allowed them to factor in several features, including a potential upgrade for a gear shift in the future.
In addition, the process was significantly simplified and produced in record time. The carbon fiber frame can be manufactured quickly and automatically and has optimal frame geometry thanks to its accurate technology-assisted design. The bike leaves nothing behind and impresses with its casual, yet sporty look while still managing to remain robust, resilient and ready to hit the road. CT Managing Director Armin Brüning also emphasized the fact by saying, “In addition to the casual design and riding pleasure, CoreTechnologie’s super-light bike put an incredulous smile on the testers’ faces as soon as they picked it up”.
With the success of CoreTechnologie’s bicycle project, the software company underscores the potential of 3D technology in the manufacture of modern consumer goods. Projects like these set the tone for modern production and are putting more and more companies on the path toward innovation and additive manufacturing. Read more about CoreTechnologie and its 3D-printed single-speed bike HERE.
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*All Photo Credits: CT CoreTechnologie