The world’s first DIY 3D printed open source bicycle
Mon 5 Oct 2015
Two Dutch design students are developing a 3D printed bicycle – an open source project through which they hope to encourage others to customise and manufacture their own versions.
The OBI, or Open Bicycle, has been created by industrial designers Stef de Groot and Paul De Medeiros. The open source template will allow the construction of a fully-functioning bicycle for around €400 (approx. £300) – far cheaper than buying a brand new set of wheels.
The students wanted to develop a practical everyday 3D printed solution, aware that use cases in consumer 3D printing can be extremely limited and often bring no real value. “With The Bike Project, we wanted to make a major push towards a future we believe in; where anyone with access to a 3D printer and internet, will be able to manufacture tools/products that they will use in their everyday lives, and that those around them can use in their everyday lives,” said De Medeiros.
Each of the individual parts of the OBI are made using a desktop 3D printer. The modular design allows for these parts to be easily be removed or replaced without needing any expensive specialist tools or skills.
Having recently migrated to cloud-based CAD/CAM software Fusion 360 from their university platform Solidworks, the team claims it has been able to reduce the amount of plastic used in the design, improve collaboration and access to files, and streamline workflow.
The final functioning prototype is near completion, according to the duo. The two hope that, following one more iteration, the OBI will be safe to use in traffic over the coming months. Before its release, they are continuing to work on the bike’s geometry, and on optimising frame design to improve durability and cost efficiency.
The students do not believe that the OBI will ever replace the modern bicycle, but rather present an alternative mode of cycling and offer a new perspective on 3D printing and transport.