German bicycle manufacturer Urwahn Bikes has partnered with lightweight bike component specialist Schmolke Carbon to develop a racing bike featuring a 3D printed frame.
A limited-edition release, the bicycle in question combines Urwahn Bikes’ 3D printed steel frame with carbon fibre bike parts developed at Schmolke. “Together we have used the potential of 3D printing technology in our steel frame and combined it with performance-oriented carbon parts,” comments product designer Sebastian Meinecke.
The bicycle is available for purchase from Urwahn Bikes and Schmolke Carbon for 8499 € ($9,369.72).
3D printing at Urwahn Bikes
Founded in 2017, and headquartered in Magdeburg, Urwahn Bikes approaches bike design with a significant focus on technology. As such, the company aims to combine traditional manufacturing techniques with additive manufacturing to maximize the functionality and performance of its product.
The connecting parts for the company’s patented Urwahn steel frame are manufactured using Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 3D printing technology. This includes the main lugs, including drawn tubes, the monostay, head tube, seat connector, bottom bracket, and dropouts. Urwahn Bikes leverages 3D printing in order to achieve a shorter production time compared to standard manufacturing methods, which would require the use of tools, an additional expense. Using 3D printing, Urwahn Bikes also states that it has been able to “avoid any restrictions regarding part geometry,” enabling the construction of thin-walled parts. Such design freedom has allowed the company to integrate various technical components within the steel frame, including an LED lighting system and GPS tracking system.
3D Printing Industry spoke to Ramon Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Urwahn Bikes, in August 2019, discussing the company’s collaboration with Austrian custom motorcycle brand Vagabund Moto to develop the Stadtfuchs cycle, featuring Urwahn Bikes’ 3D printed steel frame. This was manufactured using a Concept Laser M2 cusing Multilaser system. Together, the companies targeted a production goal of 100 fully assembled bikes by the end of 2019, stating that they were capable of 3D printing 10 bicycle frames per week.
A world champion-tested bicycle
A new feature of the 3D printed frame on Urwahn Bikes’ new bicycle with Schmolke Carbon is the shiny copper plating coated around the steel body. Schmolke Carbon provided various additional parts, including the handlebar and saddle unit, which have been trimmed for lightweight construction. The company also developed a 45mm Carbon Clincher for the cycle, designed to provide aerodynamic directional stability and a smooth cycling experience.
Finally, to test the performance of the bicycle, the companies appointed track bike world champion Stefan Bötticher to perform some velodrome test runs using the bike.
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Featured image shows the bike with 3D printed steel frame. Photo via Urwahn/Schmolke.