How 3D printing is changing design and manufacturing in the bike industry

What does 3D printing mean for bike and product development?

At its core, a bicycle is an extremely simple design. Two triangles create a frame, two circles for the wheels and then a handful of other parts help the rider speed up, slow down and steer.

While these basic principles haven’t changed much since the late 19th century, the design of each component has been refined, rethought and refreshed over the intervening decades. At the same time, bike frame materials have shifted from steel to aluminium, carbon fibre, titanium and more.

But are we about to enter a new era? With 3D printing heralded as the latest advance in manufacturing, a smattering of products have already made it to market – from components such as saddles and custom parts for pros, to full-blown bike frames.

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