MX6 mountain bike exhibits advanced 3D printing with unitary frames
Previously, we have come across classy looking bikes with 3D printed frames. But the collaborative effort of Renishaw and Empire Cycles ingeniously changes this conventional 3D printing game. Instead for crafting frame components from the usual materials of metal and plastic, the designers have opted for 3D printed parts made entirely of special titanium alloy. The glorious outcome is the MX6, an advanced mountain bike design that eschews regular frames in favor of sleeved and bonded sections. According to the creators, the new process has several structural benefits that equate to better design, performance and durability of the bike. But more importantly, it allows the designers to customize and quickly replicate their manufacturing steps, thus ultimately resulting in better products with improved commercial potential.
The ‘piece de resistance’ of the progressive procedure entails what is known as topological optimization. The scope basically involves the evolution of the design during its construction stage (as opposed to delayed enhancement of the end product). For example, designers can now relegate metallic components from the sections where they create too much stress. As a consequence of this design decision, bikes can showcase their higher strength complemented by lower weight.
Coming to the attributes of the MX6 mountain bike itself, its progressive frames were printed on a AM250 laser melting system with the aforementioned titanium alloy. Renishaw is already known for their expertise in additive manufacturing, which helped in achieving higher density and thus greater core strength of these sections.
So, at the end of the day, the project not only demonstrates an advanced bike conception. The endeavor also alludes to an improved 3D printing process that might just make its presence felt across the mass-manufacturing side of affairs.