TU delft students use MX3D robots to 3D print stainless steel arc bicycle
all images courtesy of TU delft university
a team of students from TU delft have designed and produced a fully functional ‘arc’ bicycle 3D printed in stainless steel. the designed frame demonstrates the potential of a new method for 3D printing metal.
‘3D printing has exploded in popularity in the last decade but for those wanting to print medium to large scale objects, there are still significant limitations in the technology,’ explains team member harry anderson – industrial design student at RMIT university, melbourne. ‘this method of 3D printing makes it possible to produce medium to large scale metal objects with almost total form freedom.’
the team took three months and a little help from robotic printing experts MX3D in amsterdam. the ‘arc’ was designed as part of a research project that focuses on the viability of metal 3D printing using welding processes done at the delft university of technology and the 3D building fieldlab.
the students proved the frame’s strength by riding around cobblestones street, demonstrating that it can really be used in real world conditions. it weighs about the same as a normal steel bicycle, and is a pioneer in 3D printed welding processes. the students hope that others will build on their research when designing 3D printed metal bicycles in the future.
‘it was important for us to design a functional object that people use everyday,’ says industrial design engineering student and ‘arc’ bicycle team member stef de groot. ‘being students in the netherlands, a bicycle naturally came to mind. a bicycle frame is a good test for the technology because of the complex forces involved.’
five students made up the ‘arc’ bicycle team:
harry anderson (industrial design, RMIT university, melbourne).
stef de groot (industrial design engineering, TU delft)
ainoa areso rossi (civil engineering, TU delft)
sjoerd van de velde (mechanical engineering, TU delft)
joost vreeken (aerospace engineering, TU delft)