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3D printing - future game changer?

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3D printing - future game changer?

Old 09-27-14, 09:47 PM
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bikefoo
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3D printing - future game changer?

With the advent of various forms of 3d printing; as frame builders do you think this is something that will change the future of high end cycling? Cost is the biggest drawback, but the positives are numerous. Thoughts?
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Old 09-27-14, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by bikefoo View Post
With the advent of various forms of 3d printing; as frame builders do you think this is something that will change the future of high end cycling? Cost is the biggest drawback, but the positives are numerous. Thoughts?
It depends on how religious you are about the idea.

Computer numerical controlled (CNC) machines have been around for decades. The technology can be used, and is, for both machining and welding. People don't generally conflate this with "3D printing" which they think of as material being added in layers. I don't find them terribly different. It's basically the same software and motors with a different head on the machine. And it's the software and motors that are the clever expensive part.

For prototyping and for tooling I can assure you people are already using it.

The main drawback for parts to be used on a bike is material strength. Metal must be worked and tempered to have its fullest strength, continuous fiber materials must be long and oriented, chopped fiber materials require a large feed.
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Old 09-27-14, 10:22 PM
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I'm no expert on 3D printing but do find it interesting. I have seen on line some attempts to "print" frame joints, no full tubes or complete frames yet. I have also read that the resulting material does not have the same consistency or grain as that resulting from other forming methods (casting, drawing, forging). Last, just being able to manufacture a bike quickly, without much waste, does not make for a well handling or fitting bike. Andy.
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Old 09-27-14, 11:06 PM
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This is one of the bikes I saw printed.

3D Printing Titanium Bicycles: The mainstreaming of additive manufacturing in bicycle production - 3DPrint.com
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Old 09-28-14, 10:50 PM
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The machines that print metal are not going to be cheap any time soon, so you are talking big companies. I don't see it as a game changer right away. Once people get better ideas, then we may see something
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Old 09-29-14, 01:07 PM
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I've Already used a Lost Plastic Investment Casting before* , so the 3D printed piece to burn out in the Oven then put in a spinning casting Machine .
and fill with metal, would combine well enough I'd Suppose.

Burn out just takes a little longer than Wax Investments.

*Used The Community College Art Department Gear.

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Old 09-29-14, 01:42 PM
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I think it could change stuff, but hasn't yet. The OP mentions High End Cycling. That isn't the same as framebuilding. Framebuilding is differentiated in 3 ways, mainly. One is that framebuilders think obsessively about frames, you get a lot of mental input for every frame completed, that is tough to mechanize, though the conservatism of framebuilding limits the impact of that in any practical way; Second is custom decoration or parts; third is custom fitting. CNC could easily mechanize decoration or special parts, and you don't need to be able to make the parts yourself. A company could make surly level frames but provide custom paint or headbadges, even stuff designed by the client. Think tattoos. Head badges could be made. There are several places you can order custom metalwork that is 3-d printed and the cost isn't prohibitive for upper end clients. It might be possible to order lugs for odd angles, not sure what the practicality of that would be.

We had a guy through here who printed lugs that he could lay carbon into, the ability to print molds is very useful. Our local library has a 3 d printer in plastic, and one could economically print lug molds there, the use cost is very low, and after the initial interest the machine is easy to get to.

One thing for custom makers that cnc is useful for is branding. You can make all kinds of branding that is professional and cheapish to do, though access to the tools is a big deal. I have a lot of tools, and would like a cnc router, and a mill. It starts out looking feasible, and some degrees of it are, but it keeps growing until the only comprehensive solutions are very expensive.

Make your own boxes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8jbtRTV6uw

Stamps:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1xt...tDieyEZCF4Oiyu

Making a custom 3D logo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxDU...hn6hkgcEtDMatg
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Old 09-29-14, 04:41 PM
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3d printing itself is definitely changing things right now. The fact that the patents expired and everyone can have a 3d printer at reasonable prices has unleashed a lot of creativity
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Old 10-06-14, 06:31 PM
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As I have thought about this, if you could imagine a Specialized Venge or Shiv, could be 3d printed out of to, or stainless or etc.. I'm wondering how much if any will that improve cycling or frames. I think it would be cool, but I have yet to build a frame.
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Old 10-06-14, 07:05 PM
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bike frames are highly evolved structures, so actually making frame parts that equal the parts you can simply buy is pretty tricky. OTOH, if you were to 3d print the mold to lay out a carbon frame, that could be a pretty dramatic step in custom carbon frames.
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Old 10-11-14, 02:09 PM
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The 3d printers(I too count caad machines but to be "specific," the plastic one) use a spool of plastic "string," and heat. I guess some futuristic combination machine could do metal, using solid blocks for some parts, and welding metal strand for other parts. The stuff could be dipped in a metal wash, similar to a chroming or anodizing system, ground, buffed for iregularities and finished, then heat treated, with an oven, or electric charge.
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Old 10-11-14, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
OTOH, if you were to 3d print the mold to lay out a carbon frame, that could be a pretty dramatic step in custom carbon frames.
When I was in college fifteen years ago we had a 3D router machine that we had gotten secondhand from a door company. We used it to make styrofoam wings, some of which went right into the wind tunnel, and some of which were used to make molds for wings for large model airplanes. Its bed was more than sufficient pitch to make molds for carbon fiber bicycles. The combination of routed styrofoam + fiberglass to make a mold is so easy that I don't know if additive manufacturing has anything on it.

Originally Posted by Jax Rhapsody View Post
The 3d printers(I too count caad machines but to be "specific," the plastic one) use a spool of plastic "string," and heat. I guess some futuristic combination machine could do metal, using solid blocks for some parts, and welding metal strand for other parts. The stuff could be dipped in a metal wash, similar to a chroming or anodizing system, ground, buffed for iregularities and finished, then heat treated, with an oven, or electric charge.
There are half a dozen different 3D printing techniques for metal in commercial use, and all could be made available pretty easily to the home user. Maybe they are, already. I don't surf Kickstarter but that's the place to look. Some metals have specific challenges, the same as welding; steel is pretty easy, titanium is pretty difficult. And none of them draw or roll or forge or otherwise work the metal.

The chemicals for plating parts are toxic and in the size of bike frames you require a bathtub of them, a far higher risk to the amateur and you're less likely to see that. Heat treating requires a kiln or something, and so on. You are not talking one machine, you are still talking a machine shop.
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Old 10-11-14, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
When I was in college fifteen years ago we had a 3D router machine that we had gotten secondhand from a door company. We used it to make styrofoam wings, some of which went right into the wind tunnel, and some of which were used to make molds for wings for large model airplanes. Its bed was more than sufficient pitch to make molds for carbon fiber bicycles. The combination of routed styrofoam + fiberglass to make a mold is so easy that I don't know if additive manufacturing has anything on it.


There are half a dozen different 3D printing techniques for metal in commercial use, and all could be made available pretty easily to the home user. Maybe they are, already. I don't surf Kickstarter but that's the place to look. Some metals have specific challenges, the same as welding; steel is pretty easy, titanium is pretty difficult. And none of them draw or roll or forge or otherwise work the metal.

The chemicals for plating parts are toxic and in the size of bike frames you require a bathtub of them, a far higher risk to the amateur and you're less likely to see that. Heat treating requires a kiln or something, and so on. You are not talking one machine, you are still talking a machine shop.
Actually I was speaking of a singular machine of the future
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Old 10-12-14, 04:07 AM
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Check the threads, there was a frame printed in Ti, the only serious limit other than the crazy high cost of the machines was that current machines are not really all that large. There is a company that is commercially printing 1911 ****** parts, and has made a complete ***. They anticipate it will be around the same cost as upper end customs (4K ish). That plastic *** made a splash a while back, but that was because it seemed possible for a home level printer (though it was in fact a high end plastic one, but still in the ballpark of something that many people could see getting).

https://www.solidconcepts.com/news-r...olid-concepts/

http://www.javelin-tech.com/3d-print...eS2BoCn-Pw_wcB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwg-9YM1FOM
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Old 10-12-14, 04:09 AM
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Why is that a banned word? There are all kinds of non arms related uses like various tools, etc... Seems PC to the max.
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Old 10-12-14, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
Why is that a banned word? There are all kinds of non arms related uses like various tools, etc... Seems PC to the max.
Probably easier to over do it than under do it. The R word for sexual assault is also banned. I think the correct term for a female dog also gets blanked.

Back to 3D printing:

The company that made that 1911 Colt (seems that the P-stol word is also on the edit list!) uses a machine worth over half a million dollars. Very few frame builders will have access to that for a while.

However - if it was possible to get a specialist company to give you a good rate for small jobs, printing lugs in odd angles and tubing sizes would be handy. As would creating fantastic dropouts and creative small parts like unique/custom braze ons etc.
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Old 10-12-14, 08:19 AM
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I had thought that direct metal depositing (printing) left a part somewhat porous. If so then I would wonder about the part's mechanical strength. To make a plastic/wax part then make a mold to cast from seems to defeat some of the cost/time savings. Andy.
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Old 10-12-14, 08:30 AM
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after buying the 3D printer , of course

the casting investment as just a program , that you print , can be made JIT, may offer a logo change easily altered ..

and have the serial number cast in the BB itself, as it is made.

in theory .. if, .. well endowed with that trust fund.
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