Amazing new carbon-tubed frame with 3D printed steel lugs + video
Remember that 'printed' nylon bike from the Bristol Aerospace Innovation Centre last year?
A German outfit called Vorvaertz has made a fascinating track frame using carbon tubes and intricate stainless steel lugs made by the 3D 'printing' technique.
Most recently road.cc featured the Bristol Aerospace Innovation Centre who demonstrated the modern engineering method of building parts layer-by-layer - in effect 3D printing - by making an all-nylon bicycle claimed to be as strong as steel.
What is interesting is that Vorwaertz appear to be using that very material - steel or CL 20ES stainless steel to be precise - in powdered form along with a laser to fuse complicated shapes in this case frame lugs which are then bonded onto mitred carbon tubes in a technique that will be otherwise familiar to followers of carbon framebuilding. There is an excellent video below showing what an interesting combination of cutting-edge technology and Ye Olde World skills this Vorwaertz VWRZ 1.1 really is.
Although it will inevitably lead to cries of "What's the point if Parlee, Colnago, Viner and others can do this with carbon already and probably - certainly - lighter?" we applaud this pushing of the engineering boundaries.
As ever, you have to wonder where it will all lead and if nothing else it's a super light alternative method of doing what the legendary framebuilders like Bill Hurlow were doing for Condor in the late 1940s period. And you don't need to learn how to braze which is a fiendishly difficult skill to master.