3D Printed BicyclesAM SoftwareGenerative Design

MX3D showcases futuristic Arc Bike II made from 3D printed aluminum

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Just nine days in, September is gearing up to be an exciting month for cycling and 3D printing enthusiasts. With Eurobike 2019 taking place last week, bike designers and their manufacturing partners were excited to showcase the latest in 3D printed cycling equipment. We saw 3D printed bike seats by Carbon for Specialized and fizik, as well as a new 3D printed carbon fiber bike frame by AREVO for Pilot. Now, Dutch metal 3D printing company MX3D is getting in on the action with the unveiling of its first 3D printed aluminum bike, Arc Bike II.

Known best for its 3D printed bridge project in Amsterdam—which is scheduled to be installed at some point this year—MX3D has also leveraged its Robotic Wire Arc Additive Manufacturing (WAAM) metal 3D printing technology for a number of other projects, including the Cucuyo 3D printed café in Miami and a 3 x 2 m butterfly screen sculpture designed by Joris Laarman Lab. Most recently, the company presented the Arc Bike II with a 3D printed aluminum frame.

MX3D Arc Bike II

The bike’s structure does not resemble the classic Dutch oma- or opafiets. Rather, its futuristic look was created using generative design software, which also enables the bike to be tailored to the rider’s body and proportions. Using MX3D’s robotic 3D printer, the bike frame was subsequently produced in under 24 hours. Assembly was also rapid thanks to a smart fixture setup.

Unlike Carbon’s 3D printed bike seats or AREVO’s carbon fiber frame, the Arc Bike II is less of a product MX3D is hoping to market and more of a demonstration of its upcoming WAAM Software platform. The software, which recently became available for pre-order, can enable users to design and print their own bicycles in record time. The software, called Metal XL, is expected to be released in November 2019.

MX3D Arc Bike II

As the Amsterdam-based company said: “This project shows that with the MX3D printing process, a custom bicycle can go from idea to end product incredibly fast…The aluminum bicycle is one of many showcases on how MX3D’s WAAM Software can be used for flexible on demand printing.”

The latest update on the 3D printed bridge—announced last week by Dutch news platform AD—is that the bridge arrived at the University of Twente where it will be tested in the coming weeks.

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Tess Boissonneault

Tess Boissonneault is a Montreal-based content writer and editor with five years of experience covering the additive manufacturing world. She has a particular interest in amplifying the voices of women working within the industry and is an avid follower of the ever-evolving AM sector. Tess holds a master's degree in Media Studies from the University of Amsterdam.

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