First 3D printed bike enters record books

The world’s first 3D printed titanium alloy bicycle frame has been entered into the 2015 edition of the Guinness World Records.

The frame was produced as a collaboration between engineering company Renishaw and Empire Cycles, who produced the original design for the 3D printed frame. Renishaw initially just optimised and built the bike’s seat post bracket using an additive manufacturing process, before going on to produce the entire frame. The optimisation process made the frame 33 per cent lighter than the original design.

Robin Watson, marketing manager of Renishaw’s additive manufacturing products division, described why Renishaw’s engineers decided to embark on the project.

He said: “The metal 3D printed bike was a remarkable project that stirred the imagination and enthusiasm of our engineering team. The project was completed about a year ago and the impact it’s had on the popularity of additive manufacturing, also known as metal 3D printing, has been staggering. The bike has travelled the world, been exhibited at trade shows and museums on almost every continent and has now taken its place in the Top Tech section of Guinness World Records.”

Watson also explained the advantages of additive manufacturing in production processes. These benefits include greater customisation and design freedom and the ability to create complex shapes with internal strengthening features.

He said: “Renishaw is currently working on multiple projects that highlight the additional benefits of additive manufacturing as a complementary production method. We think the technology has huge potential and we would like to help industry and the wider audience understand it better.”

The frame will be on display at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry as part of the 3D: Printing the future exhibition until 19 April 2015.

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