Innervision 3D Printed Bicycle is Super Strong, Unique, & Lightweight — Coming to Market This Year

IMTS

Share this Article

innervision3I personally don’t consider myself a cyclist by any means. I go for evening bike rides with my wife every few weeks, but I don’t take anything about the sport seriously at all. It’s just a means for me to spend some time with my wife, and at the same time get a little extra exercise.

When it comes to cycling, there are two ends of the spectrum; those like me who do it from time to time on an amateur level, and then there are those who take it extremely seriously. The latter are usually individuals who spend thousands upon thousands of dollars for the highest quality bikes, equipment, and gear. Every ounce a bike weighs is one more ounce that needs to be pushed along by the mechanics of the pedal system. This is why we see bicycle companies trying everything they can to increase strength while decreasing weight. At the same time, strength is important, as is the design of the bike’s frame. A design that lacks aerodynamics could be even more of a problem for a cyclist than the bike that weighs too much.

innervision2One man, named Matt Clark, has taken all of these things into consideration with his Innervision bicycle. What’s so unique about the Innervision bicycle isn’t the fact that its frame is 3D printed. We’ve already seen 3D printed bicycles, and in fact they are growing in popularity.

“The concept of the bike is to streamline bicycle production using methods and materials that can effectively lower costs and improve quality,” Clark tells 3DPrint.com. “The Innerframe design allows for lightweight construction that’s extremely rigid and conducive to 3D printing. Each bike will be printed vertically in order to produce the Innerframe and outer surface simultaneously. Of course this process will provide accuracy far beyond current methods. Also, the frames will not require paint, welding or heat treatment like traditional aluminum bikes.”

This isn’t a fly-by-night project for Clark. In fact, he has been refining his unique method of fabrication for these bike frames since 2008, and he now feels as though 3D printing is at a point where fabrication of his frames can be greatly enhanced.

Clark believes that 3D printininnervision1g offers, by far, the best method of producing a seamless, rigid design. He plans on 3D printing it using fiberglass-reinforced polypropylene — ideally recycled polypropylene content.

“I’ve consulted with 3D Systems who stated that they have the machines and capabilities to print it,” Clark tells us. “Currently, most 3D printed objects are solid-form, while [my] method utilizes the technology to create a custom, structurally optimized core to provide strength and light weight. Obviously, this method has potential to extend beyond bicycle manufacturing.”

Clark believes that companies like Local Motors could greatly benefit from utilizing the Innerframe design in their 3D printed cars, rather than using the more conventional method of “solid-form” 3D printing.

The Innerframe design is best described as featuring an innovative internal spaceframe-like structure that includes triangulation and molded beams which act to increase its strength, while at the same time strategically distributing weight. Using SolidWorks, Clark optimizes the Innerframe in the same way that many 3D printed interiors of objects are optimized. This optimization will allow the Innerframe to vary in thickness throughout the structure, allowing Clark to custom tailor its strength and weight.

“To date, the closest method used within the bicycle industry is foam filling a carbon fiber frame,” said Clark. “Obviously, that method/combination isn’t optimal.”

At this point, due to high machine costs, 3D printing an adult-sized frame will only be accomplished by a devoted 3D printing manufacturer. However, as machine costs decrease, I believe consumers will eventually have the ability to purchase a licensed frame design at their local bike shop and have it printed on-site. That’s when the major shift will occur.

The existing prototype (seen in the image featuring the white frame) weighs about 10.5 pounds, but the 3D printed version that Clark plans on fabricating will weigh significantly less.

Original concept

Original concept

“The proof of concept prototype’s frame began as un-reinforced 3/8 inch polypropylene material plus the reinforced polypropylene rear chainstays,” said Clark. “The final version will be entirely reinforced plastic, using optimized, thinner sections for the Innerframe.”

As of now, Clark could not give a price that these bicycles will sell for, but he does plan on having them available by the end of this year. His hope is that within a short amount of time, as machine costs decrease and 3D printing becomes more popular, consumers will be able to purchase a licensed frame design at their local bike shop and then have it 3D printed on-site.

What do you think about the Innervision Bicyle? Discuss in the 3D Printed Bicycle forum thread on 3DPB.com.

innervision5

Share this Article


Recent News

3D Printing News Briefs, April 20, 2024: Manufacturing 4.0 Consortium, Blow Molding, & More

EOS & AMCM Join Forces with University of Wolverhampton to Establish UK Centre of Excellence for Additive Manufacturing



Categories

3D Design

3D Printed Art

3D Printed Food

3D Printed Guns


You May Also Like

Sponsored

Why Corrosive Resistant Materials Are Important to the Success of 3D Printing Across Industries

The adoption of additive manufacturing (AM) is accelerating across many major industries. As this technological shift unfolds, the importance of corrosion resistance has emerged as a challenge for 3D printing...

America Makes Announces IMPACT 2.0: $6.6M in New 3D Printing Funding

America Makes, the Manufacturing Innovation Institute (MII) based in Youngstown, Ohio, has announced IMPACT (Improvement in Manufacturing Productivity via Additive Capabilities and Techno-Economic Analysis) 2.0, a project call which will...

3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: April 14, 2024

We’re starting off the week’s 3D printing webinars and events at ASTM AMCOE’s 11th Snapshot Workshop and MACH Exhibition. Stratasys continues its advanced training courses, SME is holding a virtual...

AMUK Welcomes Airframe Designs as British 3D Printing Industry Grows

While the UK is not the hub for 3D printer and materials manufacturers as other nations, the country continues to excel at the research, development, and application of additive manufacturing...