Urban Bike Relies on Component Produced through DMLS
A complex component that improves bike design and simplifies assembly is manufactured economically at low volumes via additive manufacturing.
Key to achieving this modularity is an intricate bike lug that includes the plug-and-play connection mechanism. If production volumes ever get high enough, then this complex part of the bike might be cast. For now, however, early versions of the lug have been made through additive manufacturing—direct metal laser sintering (DMLS), to be exact—by manufacturing supplier Proto Labs.
The lugs provide various advantages. In addition to incorporating the locking mechanism for accessories, they also simplify bike assembly by holding the frame’s steel tubes together without a need for an assembly jig and without the steel tubing having to be mitered for an angled weld. The lug provides the angle instead. These benefits are not unique to additive manufacturing, but additive manufacturing has allowed Evo’s team to prove out a design through various iterations and bring it into short-run production, all without cost or commitment yet for manufacturing tooling.
Read Proto Lab’s report on the Evo bike project.
(And see also this example of an entire frame made through additive manufacturing.)