How Santa Cruz Bicycles leverages 3D printing for custom rides
After the successful production of the initial tools, Santa Cruz actually decided to invest in its own Stratasys Fortus 450mc 3D printer. And now the company is happy to report that it is using additive manufacturing in several operations, including its design and engineering department and its test lab.
“Because of the great results with the Danny bike project, we actually decided to purchase a Fortus 450mc machine with nylon 12 carbon fiber and ULTEM1010 resin capabilities,” said Santa Cruz R&D manager Nic McCrae. “We’re actually running the printer on a daily basis. I feel like we’ll be able to utilize the vast array of technologies that Stratasys offers and in the end, just develop better bikes quicker, in a more efficient way, and put better products out there for people to enjoy.
“ULTEM 1010 resin helped us create latex bladders that are incredibly precise. They open up the design space to shapes that are traditionally very hard to machine, or would require multiple set-ups on a five-axis machine, which means time and money. With those (tools) we could turn around a design in just a matter of hours, iterate on the shapes and go from CAD to rideable prototype in a matter of weeks.”