Sure, 3D printed bikes have been mentioned before, but Bastion has something different up its sleeve. While you won’t be able to print one of these on your home 3D printer, the company hopes to make these as affordable as possible, while maximizing their durability, usability and quality.
And given the fact that 3D printing is now being used to manufacture airplane parts, why shouldn’t it come to the fore in bicycle design and manufacturing?
A Look at Bastion Bicycles
Bastion Bicycles might not be a household name, but chances are good that if you have any interest in serious riding, they’ll become familiar. The company is based in Australia, and has been doing a lot of research into the capabilities of 3D printing in conjunction with road bike design and creation.
In fact, the company’s R&D team includes three engineers who started their careers with Toyota.
Right now, the company is focusing more on a range of bikes, rather than a specific model. Each bike in the series will feature similar qualities, while the style, size and individual characteristics will obviously vary.
Among the shared qualities will be:
- Performance oriented
It’s notable that Bastion isn’t looking to manufacture 100% of their bikes with 3D printing. Instead, they’re focusing on manufacturing titanium lugs and spun carbon fiber tubes.
It’s also notable that Bastion isn’t the only bike maker looking into 3D printing and its applications. However, they are one of the few with access to a high-end 3D printing lab, thanks to their partnership with CSIRO Lab 22.
The company’s technical director, Dean McGeary, said, “3D printing is really exciting. It allows complete customization by the user; the frame geometry and ride is fully customizable.
We’re putting ribs in the titanium; with this, we can tune the compliance and stiffness of the bike. If you want a really compliant ride, we can take ribs out.
If you want a stiff and aggressive bike, we add in ribs.”
There’s already a bike on the drawing board for Bastion. It will be a road bike equipped with disc brakes, and should weigh just 850 grams. It will also feature a number of modern elements, including thru-axles and flat mount discs.
The company will also let customers customize their bike’s frame stiffness or compliance, and then compare that to other bikes on the market with a custom online tool. This will allow them to fine-tune the performance, and then ensure that they’re getting exactly what they want.
One of the most important aspects of the bike is the number of safety features included. McGeary says that all frames produced by Bastion will be tested using EN 14781 and ASTM F2711-08(2012).
Each frame will also undergo significant safety testing in the facility, including a finite element analysis to ensure the utmost in terms of durability and dependability.
While there has been no information published on pricing, Bastion hopes to bring the first of their bikes to the market by the end of 2015.