International engineering group Sandvik has collaborated with e-bike engineering and design consultancy GSD International to 3D print titanium motor nodes for e-bikes.
GSD International works with a number of bicycle authentic gear producers (OEMs) and has discovered titanium elements reminiscent of motor nodes, which anchor the electrical motor to the bike body, are difficult and notably costly to fabricate utilizing conventional CNC strategies.
Nevertheless, by altering the design of its motor nodes to make them appropriate for additive manufacturing, the agency noticed its manufacturing prices greater than halved.
3D printing e-bikes and LEVs
The bicycle trade is not any stranger to additive manufacturing applied sciences, with a number of producers having opted for 3D printing applied sciences over conventional strategies for the manufacturing of motorbike frames and parts.
Final 12 months, world engineering applied sciences agency Renishaw teamed up with Lotus Engineering and Hope Technology to design a brand new monitor bike for the Nice Britain Biking Staff in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Renishaw labored with engineers to initially 3D print plastic prototypes of the bike’s parts to find out match and kind earlier than utilizing its RenAM 500M laser powder mattress fusion system to print metallic variations of the parts.
On the Bespoked 2019 UK Handmade Bicycle Show in Might final 12 months, bespoke framebuilding firm Quirk Cycles showcased how it had used 3D printing to create clean dropouts and a seamless seat lug in chrome steel for its newest bike body.
Most just lately, Silicon Valley agency AREVO joined up with California-based start-up Superstrata to 3D print the fully-unified carbon composite frames for its upcoming e-bikes. Previous to this, AREVO additionally 3D printed bike frames for Californian bike producer Franco Bicycles, marketed beneath the Emery Bikes model.
Sandvik and GSD International’s collaboration
GSD International turned to Sandvik for its experience in 3D printing after observing the comparatively sluggish uptake of e-bikes over the past decade. A part of this, the agency believes, is because of the expense of manufacturing elements reminiscent of motor nodes by way of conventional strategies, that are tough and time-intensive.
GSD can also be closely targeted on world vitality conservation, sustainable transport, and decreasing fossil gas consumption, so with the ability to 3D print e-bikes that not solely price much less however are additionally extra energy-efficient and longer-lasting was an enormous tickbox for head of the group, Zach Krapfl.
“Handmade bikes are items of artwork to start with,” he stated. “So, if we are able to present these high-end bicycle makers with a fabric that may make their bikes final 10-20 years, that’s a game-changer to them.”
3D printing titanium motor nodes
Sandvik 3D printed the motor nodes utilizing a mix of its powder mattress fusion laser expertise and Osprey Ti6AI4V powder, a fabric usually used within the medical, aerospace, and engineering sectors for functions depending on excessive energy, weight-saving supplies. Throughout post-processing, the motor nodes had been warmth handled and sandblasted.
Sandvik’s new powder plant for titanium and nickel-based superalloys just lately received the ‘AS9100 Revision D’ certification for deliveries to the aerospace trade. Opened in 2019, the plant gained the certification for qualifying its Osprey titanium powders with the ‘absolute best’ consistency, morphology, and high quality to be used in additive manufacturing.
In line with Sandvik, these current developments, alongside mastering the method of 3D printing the titanium motor nodes, imply there might be ‘infinite’ prospects for the longer term additive manufacturing of different bicycle parts.
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Featured picture reveals an e-bike with a 3D printed titanium motor node. Picture through Sandvik.