• Mar 10th 2011 at 9:45AM
  • 3

3D printing is a powerful tool, but EAD's AirBike is taking it to the next level. Creating layer by layer to materialize a functional bike made up of a combination of compacted powdered metal, nylon and carbon reinforced plastics is what Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM - the manufacturing process) is all about.

The bike is first designed on a computer, then built by Laser Sintering – a fusing method – creating thousands of layers until the object solidifies into a unified structure. In this case, EAD isn't trying to produce usable bicycles, but rather showing off the working and bending of materials at a molecular level to create something strong and efficiently based on effectively limitless computer creations.

[Source: Engadget]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Albert Nguyen
      • 7 Months Ago
      ^----- It is conservative due to the regulations in place if you want to enter a race. Minimum weights and clearances and such make most bikes look the same, much like any type of formula racing.
      • 7 Months Ago
      There was a plastic bike made in 2008 that was functional and incredibly innovative: http://www.bikecommuters.com/2008/07/17/exclusive-matt-clark-design-iv-1-prototype/ However, the bicycle industry as a whole is VERY, VERY conservative...so it's doubtful they'd adopt a bicycle like the IV-1 or the AirBike without a tremendous amount of positive response from the public. They'd much rather do it "the old fashioned way".
      • 7 Months Ago
      Being in the industry of Additive Manufacturing I have to say that this cool, but also per ASTM F2792 it is simply called Additive Manufacturing. Interestingly enough there is a powder developing comany out there called ALM (Advanced Laser Materials) that produces these materials used in the Selective Laser Sintering process that built the bike. In all seriousness though, its always cool to see someone out there using this technology for some creative like this.