We are beginning to go from having a mentality of “What can 3D printing be used for?”, to one of “What can’t 3D printing be used for?”. We have seen houses, boats, cars, and even weapons 3D printed on machines which many hadn’t even knew existed just a short time ago. One thing which we have begun to see 3D printing utilized more and more for over the past few months, is that of the fabrication of bicycles. When you think about it, the technology seems like the perfect solution for creating a custom bike that fits a cyclist’s body size and weight perfectly.
One Japanese-based design studio, Triple Bottom Line, in collaboration with DMM.make AKIBA, has now shown some of the tremendous possibilities that 3D printing can provide in the production of bicycles. They have now begun showing off their creation, or at least the first prototype of what they believe will become a reliable 3D printed road bike, the DFM01.
In what Triple Bottom Line Inc. refers to as the “world’s first viable road bike completed via 3D printing”, the majority of the DFM01’s components are 3D printed using selective laser sintering (SLS) of titanium. The bike, which weights approximately 15 pounds, can compete weight-wise with other carbon fiber models made via traditional manufacturing means. This is quite impressive for a bicycle made out of metal, but that is an advantage that 3D printing can provide.
The most impressive aspect to this bike, is the fact that it can be customized for each individual cyclist, taking in account their weight and height as well personal preferences. Triple Bottom Line, with the help of others, utilizes a special system that automatically can determine the best frame geometry, on a case-by-case basis. They also have the option of allowing for custom smartphone holders as well as various sensor modules which can be placed in the perfect position every time.
The price for the final product has not yet been set, but is expected to cost a hefty 500,000 to 700,000 Japanese Yen ($4200 – $5900) for the frame alone, so this bike won’t be something your typical cycling hobbyist will be purchasing. However, it will be a bicycle that could be quite attractive to those who race on a consistent basis.
As you can see in the photos provided, the DFM01 doesn’t look like your typical bicycle, but then again it wasn’t manufactured using your typical means. This bike was recently displayed at the Milan Salone, design faire in Milan Italy, and it apparently attracted quite the attention.
What do you think about this unique 3D printed bike? Is this the bike of the future? Discuss in the DFM01 forum thread on 3DPB.com.