Oh, the joys of cycling — and of collecting bikes. If you know a bicycle enthusiast (or are one), you are probably aware they rarely just have one, and if said person lives in a city they usually have several bikes meant for every cycling scenario imaginable piled up in their living room, kitchen, or bedroom for safekeeping. Moving them or paring down the collection is simply not a thought that has crossed their minds whatsoever as they might need a commuter, a mountain bike, a hybrid, or a more customized bike that’s lighter in weight for going greater distances.
If you live with someone who is encroaching on your space with bikes, the advent of 3D printing might be even greater cause for you to worry if they are handy and technically savvy. The bikes could begin multiplying, as they 3D print out parts in delight, with Amsterdam designer Paul Timmer as the perfect role model.
Timmer has recently designed and built a bicycle completely out of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts. Timmer, obviously not just a woodworker and cyclist, but also a great artist, has constructed a streamlined design with the innovative technology of 3D printing and the superior quality of solid ash.
Featuring an extremely eco-friendly design — not to mention all recyclable — with the aluminum parts and solid ash wood, the bike weighs in at a mere 11 kilograms, which is equal to 24 lbs or so. This makes a normally constructed bike seem pretty clunky in contrast to Timmer’s sleek design, which is meant as an all-terrain means of transportation.
While not the only creatively constructed wooden bike on the market for sure, Timmer’s is the only one (that we know of so far) that employs 3D printed aluminum parts as a means of stability and added strength.
“The main advantage of the wooden frame is the exceptional comfort. All vibrations, due to bumps in the road, are instantly absorbed,” said Timmer. “Wood is the best construction material available. This bike can be as strong as a steel one, but it has to be designed better than a steel one.”
Why does someone stray off the beaten path so far with these types of materials for a bike? Timmer wanted a top-of-the-line ride and he just so happened not only to know how to build one but also how to create custom 3D designs for everything on the bike that wasn’t wood, and he had the resources to 3D print them.
Using ‘forks’ to form a triangle from the handlebar area down to the mechanics of the 3D printed chain, which is made out of a clean belt drive, keeps the wood grain as pristine as possible, and increases durability. As Timmer states on his website, the bike “becomes strong enough by extraordinary attention to detail.”
With 3D design, Timmer was afforded the freedom to tweak and refine parts and 3D print them out as needed rather than having to order something or rely on someone else to make it. That’s the beauty of 3D design and 3D printing as we know it. And while this design is currently the only one of its kind, Timmer has plans to produce them for other biking — and 3D printing — enthusiasts soon.
Is this a bike that interests you for your cycling needs? How do you think the combination of wood and 3D printed aluminum parts can be more helpful? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printed Bicycle with Wood forum thread over at 3DPB.com.