Looking to consistently push the boundaries of design for 3D printing, BigRep Product Designer Marco Mattia Cristofori wanted to develop a product which could not only be bold enough to grab the attention of industries towards 3D printing but also showcase the utility and benefit of 3D printing. Thus originated the idea of the BigRep wheel rim, a customised 3D printed wheel rim.
While prepping up for this project Marco Cristofori thought of going the extra mile and customise the wheel rims and hubcaps of an average car by designing the prototype for large-scale 3D printing.
Such customisation of wheel rims and other features is very popular in the US. But it is often a time-consuming and an expensive process. But 3D printing solves both the issues and makes the entire process much easier.
The design is a fluid branch-like structures originating from the centre of the wheel. These not only provide stability to the wheel but are also aesthetically appealing and pleasing. While the regular wheel rims are just one layer or line on a wheel rim or hubcap, the 3D printed design is much more complex. Such a geometry is not possible in traditional manufacturing processes.
According to Marco Cristofori, “With 3D printing, you can prototype organic forms, like with our Terra chair. It allows you to envision more complex shapes because you don’t really have any limits.”
He added, “What we’ve developed here is a true-to-life model that can be powder coated. We are planning to Meta-Coat one of them, to see how it looks like a more final product with a highly professional effect.”
The wheel rim was printed in BigRep’s Studio 3D Printer which boasts of a print volume of 500 mm x 1000 mm x 500 mm. The material for the print was high-temperature-resistant filament PRO HT with PVA as the water-soluble support. The rim is not a fully-functional part but similar design principles can be applied for hubcaps and they can be post-processed for a metallic finish to match the metallic wheel rim manufactured by traditional methods.
World’s-First 3D Printed Airless Bicycle Tire
In another interesting news, BigRep also demonstrated the world’s first 3D printed Airless Bicycle tire. It was 3D printed using its new PRO FLEX material – a TPU-based flexible filament.
Above: BigRep showcases the World-First 3D Printed Airless Bicycle Tire/Video Credit: BigRep/YouTube
About BigRep: BigRep GmbH is a German company well-known for large-scale 3D printers like BigRep ONE & BigRep Studio. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Berlin, it has grown to be one of the leading providers of fast and precise large-scale 3D printing solutions.
About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D Printing. Visit our Global News page for more updates on 3D Printing News. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on Google+.