You wouldn’t 3D print a car, would you? That’d be naturally impractical. However, if you’re a team of students attending the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, you might be inclined to 3D print a stainless steel bicycle instead.
The TU Delft team collaborated with MX3D, a company that uses an articulated industrial robot arm with a welder for an effector, welding and building the Arc Bicycle, glob by molten glob.
Printed in chunks, this process allows the practical construction of larger objects that are able to withstand the stresses and forces of everyday use.
Weighing around 20kg, you might not want to spend much time carrying it up to an apartment anytime soon, so stick to the cobblestone streets — the Arc Bicycle can take it.
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The TU Delft team believes Arc Bicycle to be the world’s first 3D Printed bicycle — even though it’s technically only the frame. If this story has you wishing you could flee the winter and hop on your bike, a DIY indoor bike trainer might cure that ailment, if you can resist turning the wheel into a bow.