Today it seems everywhere we turn, titanium is being used in place of conventional materials—and 3D printing is being employed over traditional processes. And as we delve further, printing with metal is key for many companies now exploring new ways to make customized components that are stronger and able to hold up to the elements longer.
One area where we see the use of 3D printing in tandem with high-tech equipment quite often today is in mounts. This can save on the bottom line enormously, and many makers out there are coming up with DIY projects to accommodate everything from taking to the skies with complex 3D printed mounts for drones to a host of GoPro mounts allowing for better handling while sports enthusiasts are engaged in activities requiring filming like skateboarding, surfing, and other hobbies that are sometimes a bit on the extreme side. I’m seeing the benefit just with my daughter, in third grade, who is saving up for a GoPro, and then realized a mount was going to be almost $100 more. We decided right away to start exploring 3D designs that she could customize to her preference, as well as saving greatly on those hard-earned allowance bucks.For an adult world on the go though, the hands-free lifestyle has become more and more important as we maintain a collection of devices to get us through the workday—and sometimes recreation too. Cycling is an obvious sport where mounts of all sorts come in handy. As most of us know from riding our bikes in general—and this translates to driving as well—there’s an awful lot that we’d like to be doing while traveling down the road but that can lead to some serious accidents if we don’t have both hands in control of steering.
From talking on the phone to navigating to capturing images, sometimes it seems as if the temptation to do everything but ride or drive is at the forefront of our experience in getting from one place to another. Now, a savvy design firm from Australia has created a mount for Garmin electronics with the help of a team of university students. The difference in this particular mount is that while most of the DIY projects we see make use of plastics, the 3D Printed Titanium Garmin Mount is indeed made of metal.
Constructed of titanium, to be exact, this new customized mount works within the lightweight constraints and requirements always so important in biking, as well as the corrosive-resistant needs. Fetha Custom Components, generally known for their high-quality parts via CNC machining, designed the part for 3D printing in collaboration with the team over at RMIT University Australia.Fetha, founded just a few years ago, reports that these mounts, meant to attach to your bike’s head stem bolts, have quickly become very popular. The project began in an interesting way as RMIT contacted Jamie Riedy, an engineer at Fetha, explaining that a couple of their students were interested in working with the company on designs and products—or rather, to improve on a design they already had. The powers that be at both Fetha and RMIT handed student team leader, Ben, the job of re-creating the bicycle Garmin mount in titanium. It’s not surprising they wanted the students to work with not only 3D printing, but also this material as it offers nothing but advantages industrially, whether it’s being used in life-changing spinal implant surgeries around the world or important aerospace applications. Today, titanium is working to offer all the benefits of 3D printing, from customization to greater affordability.
In making these parts in metal, there are numerous considerations to be taken into account from keeping the structural integrity intact, to the use of supports, and removing them afterward. This was all part of the teaching and learning experience as RMIT students came on board for their project. And even better, the university offers a much larger facility with greater resources for 3D printing.Riedy and the students were able to work with the 3D printers at the university, verifying whether the design was viable, and offering true hands-on experience during the project. The world is benefiting as well, as a new and helpful product is presented to the marketplace, points out David Taylor, Industry Fellow, heading the student project from RMIT.
As either a fantastic accessory either for yourself or a great gift idea, ordering requires you to take measurements (contacting the company for any questions), with the following instructions:
- Measure the distance between the centers of your two lower faceplate bolts.
- Decide which Garmin unit you will be using with this mount, as that will directly affect the fit.
- Add the distance (in mms) and Garmin unit to the notes section at checkout.
Once sent to Fetha Custom Components, the mount is returned within around two weeks, accompanied also with the attachment screws, made in titanium as well. It weighs 14 grams, with both the length and bolt widths customized. A three-year warranty is included as well—and the design team anticipates your bike giving out before any part of your mount does! Available for $140 AUD, you can order one now at Cycling Tips Emporium. To find out more about the design process, see the video below. Discuss further over in the 3D Printed Garmin forum at 3DPB.com.[Sources: Trendin Tech; Fetha Custom Components; Cycling Tips Emporium]