POC, a Swedish manufacturer of high-performance protection equipment for snow sports and cycling, introduce the Elicit Ti cycling sunglasses as a way to deliver all the benefits needed to stay at the cutting edge of performance cycling while being considerate of the resources used in the manufacturing process. The answer? Turning to Swedish metal AM specialist AIM Sweden and EBM technology.
Still relatively new to the world of cycling, additive manufacturing is used and trusted for its precision and quality. The process allows for very precise constructions and ensures there is no excess material usage, no cut-offs from the edges of a mold that go to waste.
At its very core, and from its very beginnings, the bicycle has delivered sustainable efficiency. As well as the environmental benefits of traveling by bike, it brings with it proven physical and mental health benefits.
But in the world of performance cycling, and a search for speed above all else, the quest for performance efficiency has shifted focus away from the original and inherently sustainable aspects of cycling to become more resource intensive.
This constant push in the world of performance cycling to find where the limits of possibility lie has driven technology further and further, but material choice has been driven by performance characteristics alone. We thought it was time to challenge this way of thinking.
We wanted to explore if it was possible to harness a more sustainable approach while still focusing on performance. A way to utilize methods and technologies that enable performance and sustainable thinking to go together.
Working together with AIM Sweden, POC explored how this process could be applied to the development of high-performance sunglasses: a product where rigidity and flexibility need to be perfectly in balance so that a rider can see every detail of what lies ahead in absolute comfort.
The company concluded that residual medical-grade titanium would provide the rigidity and lightness needed for comfort and performance. Using material left over from other manufacturing processes also helps to minimize the use of virgin materials.
Constructed using residual medical-grade titanium (Ti-6AI-4V), the Elicit Ti sunglasses demonstrate that it is possible to combine sustainable thinking with a strong focus on performance. The featherweight temples feature a minimal truss structure on each side to enhance rigidity and keep the large Clarity lens firmly in place so that your vision remains sharp on every ride.
This strictly limited-edition model of just 365 pieces tips the scale at just 22 grams, yet thanks to the strength of the titanium, the sunglasses provide optimal stiffness, comfort and balance. They are available for the relatively accessible price (all considered) of €400.
To construct the Elicit Ti, AIM Sweden used Electron Beam Melting, a form of additive manufacturing where the fine titanium powder is melted with a laser to build up the temples layer by layer. Once complete, the leftover titanium powder is recovered and reformed so it can be used once more.