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Oerlikon delivers 1,000th 3D printed bicycle component to Urwahn

The partnership will bring further co-developed additively manufactured products to the market

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Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing team in Barleben, Germany, has produced 150 sets of seven never-before-made components for a bicycle based on a completely new design developed by Urwahn founder Sebastian Meinecke. Urwahn is emerging as a leader in metal 3D printed bike frames: in 2020 the company collaborated with Schmolke Carbon, a specialist in carbon-fiber-reinforced bike components, to design a stunning copper-coated 3D printed bicycle. The impressive two-wheeler was tested by Track Bike World Champion Stefan Bötticher, who gave it rave reviews.

The partnership between Oerlikon and Urwahn began several years ago when Meinecke brought his idea to the Oerlikon AM team. From concept to creation, both partners determined the materials, processes and the right machines to develop this unique next-generation bike. “The collaboration with the Oerlikon team has been great,” said Meinecke. “With their knowledge of materials and technology, we were able to develop a process chain that enabled us to offer new and unique features such as fully integrated electric systems for the product. And this is just the beginning. I am excited to see what else we can innovate together by taking advantage of new materials and additive manufacturing.”

In addition to its unique shape, which uses rear-wheel elastic suspension to ensure a comfortable ride, the frame has integrated LED lighting and a GPS tracking system as well as other gadgets, which would not be feasible to make with conventional production processes. To protect the frame and add another cool dimension, a protective BALINIT CROMA PLUS coating, from the Oerlikon Balzers brand, is applied. Since the coating is of a rainbow color, no bicycle will look like another.

“This is the kind of project that sparks our creativity because we started with a completely white board,” said Hendrik Alfter, general manager of Oerlikon’s European production. “Sustainable mobility and transportation options, including cycling, are megatrends as people steer toward environmentally friendly options to stay mobile. We see great opportunity in this market.”

The bike will be on display at the Oerlikon booth at formnext, from November 16-19, 2021, at Frankfurt am Main.

Oerlikon delivers 1,000th 3D printed bicycle component to Urwahn and looks to bring further co-developed AM products to the market.
The Urwahn team.
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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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