BIKE Magazin, a leading bike magazine from Germany, kicked off its ‘Ride Green’ campaign and urged component manufacturers to explore a goal of manufacturing a cradle-to-cradle mountain bike. Canyon Bicycles GmbH, a German manufacturer of all types of bikes, decided to participate and created a sustainable 3D Printed Bike Prototype.
This newly developed ‘green’ mountain bike follows the cradle-to-cradle concept which means that the boke and all its components must be fully recyclable and all materials must be reusable for the same purpose without compromising quality.
3D Printed Bike Prototype
Canyon engineer Johannes Thumm got to work on the frame, which had the greatest potential for a high carbon footprint of any of the components. Canyon decided to use 3D printing, which would allow for regional production if and when the bike is released, eliminating the need for overseas shipping. It would also reduce lead times and allow for a high level of customization at a low cost.
According to Canyon and BIKE, “The traditional bicycle design was a completely rethought and optimized for the most efficient use of materials. since the frame consists of a skeleton (load-bearing structure) and a shell (protection and surface property), only the shell can be renewed in a two-stage recycling process if the inner structure is intact.”
Materialise in Bremen, Germany, 3D printed the frame using a selective laser melting method. A laser is used in the process to weld aluminium powder into hard metal with pinpoint accuracy. As a result, the frame weighs two kilograms and has tubing wall thicknesses as thin as 0.6 millimetres in some places.
Each of the design’s three frame pieces takes about six hours to make, and the claimed weight for the frame and fork is 2kg. There are currently no plans for this to become a Canyon production bike, but it will be interesting to see how the project influences future Canyon bikes and designs.
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