A large group of Flemish companies operating under the cluster Flam王D (Flame3D) and specializing in 3D printing technologies worked together to create what they claim only looks like a bicycle. Representing a much larger concept of cooperation and innovation, the “bike” is the result of the combined expertise and experience of more than a dozen Flemish companies and research institutions, including:
- Layered Prints
- T&M Solutions
- Tenco DDM
- Ghent University
- University of Leuven
More than a bike
As evidenced, Flanders, Belgium is home to many innovative companies dedicated to fostering additive manufacturing in the region. As a result, the region has many companies that could print a bicycle on their own, but instead, they decided to come together and create one. The bike, therefore, is the amalgamation of true innovation in a wide range of areas including topology optimization, ceramics printing, fiber reinforced prints, printed electronics, and much more. Watch the video below to get a glimpse of the collaborative effort in its bicycle form.
According to Flam王D General Director, Kris Binon, there’s a real need for cooperation in additive manufacturing. He explained the significance of the bike, saying:
“3D-printing a bike is not such a big deal any more. What 3D printing really needs nowadays, is cooperation. Beyond the hype, there’s a world in which we have to work together – both in and outside the [additive manufacturing] ecosystem. Flanders is ready for that reality. We need to set new standards for this amazing technology, the 3D printing market needs maturing and therefore the focus should be on development of a continuous outlet rather than on competing each other.”
A bike should be a tool
As active players in the field, the companies of Flam王D quickly realized that the “hype” of 3D printing has become quite shallow. According to Flam王D, “many companies are barely aware of the actual potential of additive manufacturing.” The bike is meant to combat this hype and act as a tool to educate companies and educational institutions about the real applications and abilities of 3D printing technologies.
Flam王D unveiled their bike at a business and cycling event at the famous Circuit Zolder racing track in Heusden-Zolder, Belgium on August 27th. In the coming months, the bike is set to be presented at events and fairs as a way to inform companies and schools on the possibilities of additive manufacturing.
Flam王D is the Flemish additive manufacturing cluster organization gathering and representing nearly 70 companies and research institutes in Flanders. The creation of the bicycle was also supported by Ridley Bikes, r-l-f, Mobi-bikes, Bodycote IMT, koopjefiets.be and Flanders Innovation & Entrepreneurship.