World Premiere: 3D-Printed Bicycle Frame Opens Up New Motorcycle Industry Horizons

3D-Printed Bicycle Frame 5 photos
Photo: Empire Cycles
3D printed titanium bike frame3D printed titanium bike frame3D printed titanium bike frame3D printed titanium bike frame
Empire Cycles and Renishaw have created the first fully-functional bicycle frame which was entirely 3D printed in metal. And to make things even more interesting and radical straight from the beginning, we’re dealing with a titanium frame.
The frame, called MX6-R, is a working prototype and was built using the additive manufacturing technology, using 3M structural epoxy adhesive to bind together titanium sections. I was derived from an existing frame, the MX6-EVO. The EVO version tipped the scales at 2.1 kg (4.63 lbs) while the 3D-printed one weighs only 1.4 kg (3.09 lbs).

A Renishaw AM250 printer was used to carry out the manufacturing process and it looks like the prototype is even better than its creators believed. Thanks to the particularities of 3D printing, the very design of the frame was subject to multiple improvements and changes, as Chris Williams of Empire Cycles says. He adds that he started to see less traditional design solutions as he was building up the bike in a CAD environment.

While this is only the first step in the industry, the 3D printing technology seems to be able to provide motorcycle manufacturers with an exceptionally advanced tool for building more complex parts. We already know that Indian Motorcycle uses 3D printing for prototyping the new Indian Chief bikes, and Italian e-bike CRP has made use of 3D printing for its Energica Ego superbike, so there’s certainly much more to this.

In fact, it appears like things are barely moving as far as involving 3D printing in motorcycle manufacturing is concerned. But we are surely going to hear a lot more on this quite

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