See the world's first 3D printed composite bicycle at 3D Printing USA | IDTechEx Research Article
3D printing of composite parts, specifically fiber reinforced polymers, is a rapidly emerging field. Arevo have created the world's first true 3D-printed carbon fiber bicycle.
Jun 08, 2018 Dr Richard Collins
3D printing of composite parts, specifically fiber reinforced polymers, is a rapidly emerging field. There are many emerging players making new filaments or printers and increasing attention from some of the established larger companies.
Composites is an industry that is growing year-on-year and has now diversified away from the traditional early adopting sectors, but there are still many challenges that it faces. There are limits in design freedom and versatility, not to mention difficulties in high amounts of scrap from manufacturing and costs incurred from many levels of the supply chain. 3D printing can help facilitate this as well as taking composite parts into new directions.
In return, 3D printing of polymers is still a field in its infancy and the use of reinforcements could be one of many key steps that will allow this approach to reach higher material volumes in more structurally demanding roles. Through their technical market research, IDTechEx has covered the markets of both composites and 3D Printing industry extensively.
On November 14-15, the 3D Printing USA conference will be holding their first dedicated session on 3D printing of composites with exciting speakers already confirmed. Arevo are one of these speakers and below is the latest press release from Hexcel, highlighting some of Arevo's latest work.
Based in Santa Clara, California, Arevo is ushering in the next era of 3D printing and is transforming the way manufactured products are conceived, designed, built, and maintained. To demonstrate its software and robotics at work, Arevo partnered with StudioWest to create the world's first true 3D-printed carbon fiber bicycle. A reimagined form factor removed a seat stay between the seat and back wheel, adding strength and simplicity.
Conventional 3D printers typically print in two dimensions on a stacked horizontal plane. Arevo's robotic arm makes all axes available enabling true 3D printing, removing design constraints and providing the freedom to create.
Arevo is using the bike to demonstrate the potential of the technology, which will be used to produce lightweight parts with superior strength for applications where designers want to make carbon fiber parts but are hesitant due to the high cost and labor-intensive process of making them.
Arevo CEO Jim Miller said, "It was great to have Hexcel -- a leader in advanced carbon fiber - join this project with us. With companies like Hexcel as partners, we are certain that we have the technology, team and tools in place to commercialize our software and fabrication process to build high strength parts that the manufacturing industry hasn't been able to conceive and construct before."
Brett Schneider, Hexcel President - Global Fibers, said, "We congratulate Arevo on this technological leap forward. We're excited to be part of the project and appreciate the trust they have in our products. We look forward to continuing to be a supplier for many more projects like this one."
Arevo recently secured financing to build on the full-scale commercialization of its technology across a diverse set of industries such as aerospace, defense, transportation, automotive, consumer electronics, sporting goods, medical, and oil and gas.
See the world's first 3D-printed carbon fiber bicycle and a presentation from Arevo, plus many more experts in this field, at 3D Printing USA in Santa Clara, CA. Visit www.IDTechEx.com/usa18-3d for more information and to register.
The 3D Printing conference is part of the IDTechEx Show! This is combined B2B exhibition and conference co-locates key emerging technologies in one place, with eight concurrent technologies and a single exhibition covering 3D Printing, Electric Vehicles, Energy Storage, Graphene, Internet of Things, Printed Electronics, Sensors & Wearable Technology.