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Buy your own 3D printed, custom mountain bike

07 June 2016

Robot Bike Co unveiled its R160 frame at Renishaw’s Innovation Centre, it uses additive manufacturing to create a unique design concept.

Image courtesy of Robot Bike Co

Robot Bike Co developed the bike concept and worked with Dave Weagle to create the unique dw6 suspension with its progressive leverage ratio. By using additive manufacturing all aspects of the suspension performacne can be custom made to the users preference.

The baseline frame design is developed in conjunction with HiETA, using advanced CAD and simulation tools with a parametric CAD engine. This allows the Robot Bike Co to quickly and easily input customers requirements and output a design in an automated process.

The frame architecture features a strong, resiliant and lightweight frame, with characterisitcs taken from aerospace titanium and carbon fibre materials. A high strength to weight ratio titanium has been deployed in areas of maximum stress and connected together with high stiffness to weight ratio carbon composite tubes. The joint is moved away from the area of peak stress and instead a double lap shear joint design is employed.

By using additive manufacturing, the Robot Bike Co can design flexibly and create custom geometry frames and novel joint interfaces. In partnership with Renishaw, the lugs are batch processed by Selective Laser Melting, with Ti powder particules in the 10-45um range fused together by a high power fibre laser, heat treated for optimal mechanical performance and then CNC machined for bearing, headset and bottom bracket fit. The ‘double lap pi joint’ design is made possible by this process. The Robot Bike Co is using the same additive manufacturing technologies as companies as Airbus, Boeing, GFE and Rolls-Royce. 

Since the production process is not constrained by a mould, the frame can constantly be improved as new technologies emerge. 

More information can be found on the Robot Bike Co website.

Video courtesy of Robot Bike Co.

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