Bigrep Introduced World’s First 3D-Printed Airless Bicycle Tires
BigRep, Berlin-based startup launched custom designed 3D-printed bicycle tire to tackle different conditions and biking requirements
The company claims that 3D-printed airless bicycle tire uses a custom-made thermoplastic elastomer, which is capable of incorporating flexibility into 3D-printed objects. The 3D printer gas ability to print different tires according to requirement of rider. For instance, user can have various pairs for different weather conditions, another for rough terrain, and a set for riding on regular roads. The bicycle tire prototype was developed to “demonstrate the ease and speed at which flexible spare parts can be 3D printed,” while also serving to promote the versatility of the company’s thermoplastic polyurethane Pro FLEX filament.
The tire was developed using the company’s ONE 3D printer, which has a one cubic meter build volume and does not require post-processing or gluing. “We have expanded our technical portfolio with a high-impact, high-temperature-resistant material in Pro FLEX, which has higher interlayer-bonding than we have ever seen before, and robust chemical resistance for a range of technical applications,” said company CEO Stephan Beyer. “There is a clear use case for flexible parts that can be customized and printed on a needs basis, across med-tech, aerospace, automotive and other industries.”
Similar to the airless tire designs from the likes of Michelin, the BigRep prototype replaces the air inside a tire with complex support structures, in this case a three-layered honeycomb design. It follows the successful printing of an ornate custom automotive wheel rim a few weeks ago using another filament capable of resisting high temperatures and which was designed to show the time-saving benefits of prototyping using 3D printing technology. The pattern and density of the infill can be customized for different biking activities such as mountain biking and road racing or different conditions such as rain or cobbled streets.
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