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World’s first 3D bamboo bicycle printed in London

15 April 2016

The Bamboo Bicycle Club in collaboration with Oxford Brookes University successfully built a bamboo and 3D printed bicycle at London’s Design Museum.

The final phase of the build (Credit: Bamboo Bicycle Club)
The final phase of the build (Credit: Bamboo Bicycle Club)

The live event was to coincide with the Cycling Revolution exhibition at the museum where the Bamboo Bicycle Club has been displaying another first in the form of the world’s first ‘aero dynamic bamboo bicycle’.

The Hackney Wick based business has been designing and engineering novel bike manufacturing techniques for the past four years and decided it was time to introduce a whole new bike making concept to the world four months ago.

It took professors from Oxford Brookes University two weeks to complete the 3D printing for the ‘Nylon Reinforced Carbon Fibre’ (used on Formula 1 cars) lugs, which are used to join the bamboo frame, together with a special ‘urethane adhesive’ glue. This process is expected to become a lot faster in the future and could have a huge impact on British manufacturing. The frame and completed bike with all the full components was then built live at the Design Museum with the first ride taking place last Sunday afternoon.

Supporting the project was the Hackney Wick based business community of Autumn Yard, which included graphic designers, Studio Bark one of Britain’s most sustainable architects (as seen on Grand Designs), Great Coat Films and A Marr + Associates marketing.  

“It’s a wonderful feeling to pioneering new manufacturing techniques, which have enormous potential in the future, the bike needs a few tweaks but we can definitely see a future in this bike building process” 
James Marr, founder of the Bamboo Bicycle Club.

“Bamboo is one of the world’s most important carbon sequestrator [carbon capture]; we hope we can encourage more widespread usage of this sustainable material”  
Wilf Meynell a director at Studio Bark 

"It was always going to be a challenge combining highly engineered products with an 'artesian' style build, especially using such an unprocessed natural material such as bamboo. After an intense but ultimately successful weekend, this type of modular construction has really shown the potential to create truly bespoke Bicycle frame design, at home - perhaps taking a little more time!"
Dr James Broughton, Oxford Brookes University

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