Titanium 3D printing from TRUMPF improves bicycle manufacturing
Additive manufacturing makes bicycle parts lightweight and particularly stable.
by Oliver Johnson
28 July 2022
Manufacturer TRUMPF has produced lightweight and stable components for mountain bikes that can be manufactured cost-effectively using its metal 3D printing technology.
The 3D printed parts include high-performance brake calipers with an integrated cooling structure, as well as brake levers and pedals.
The brake levers are made of titanium and only weigh eight grams, making it significantly lighter than conventionally manufactured examples. Its grid structure is designed to ensure better grip between the finger and brake lever.
"With our 3D printing solution, we offer bicycle manufacturers an attractive alternative. They can use this technology to cost-effectively print high-quality, heavy-duty components in series," said Nicolas Haydt, Technology Expert for Additive Manufacturing at TRUMPF.
TRUMPF Application Developer Christian Lengwenat added: "The titanium we use is so strong that we need less material for the same stability compared to a conventionally manufactured component."
According to TRUMPF, its TruPrint 3000 3D printer is able to print over 120 brake levers per build job. Haydt added: "The unit cost is inexpensive, coming in at around 12 euros per brake lever and shows the possibility of using TRUMPF machines to anchor titanium series production in cycling."
Cooling structures are essential when tackling the risk of overheating brakes, something that occurs when a bike is riding downhill and hydraulic disc brakes reach their limit. TRUMPF's calipers contain integrated cooling structures made of a honeycomb and lattice design that ensures the parts heat up much more slowly than calipers manufactured in the traditional way.
The manufacturer also produced a 3D printed bicycle pedal, made from the same titanium as the brake lever. "Our goal was to print material only where it is really needed. That saves weight. In addition, we wanted to print the so-called pins directly on the axle of the pedal. This provides a better grip directly on the foot," said Lengwenat.
The bearing seats for the plain and ball bearings in the pedal are also printed directly, meaning manufacturers do not have to mechanically rework the pedal. The pedal body weighs 75 grams and has passed several test rides, including downhill trails in the Alps.
by Oliver Johnson
28 July 2022
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Exhibit at the UK's definitive and most influential 3D printing and additive manufacturing event, TCT 3Sixty.TRUMPF Want to discuss? Join the conversation on the TCT Additive Manufacturing Network. Get your FREE print subscription to TCT Magazine. Exhibit at the UK's definitive and most influential 3D printing and additive manufacturing event, TCT 3Sixty.