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Dutch students close to creating 3D printed bike that anyone can make at home

Fancy a new set of wheels? Just print one off for less than £300, say industrial design students

A group of Dutch industrial design students have designed an open source 3D printed bicycle that they say could revolutionise cycling and make it cheaper.

The OBI bike is being developed as part of The Bike Project, headed up by Stef de Groot and Paul De Medeiros.

For around £300, they say, anyone would be able to print themselves a new bike, and as it is a modular system, replacement parts could be made and changed out at home.“We believe in the power of open source design,” the pair wrote on their website.

“Once we have created the first working bicycle, all our designs will be made available for anyone to improve, change or inspire.

“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 Paul.

Part of this plan is designing all the printed parts in Autodesk Fusion 360, a free CAD program that will allow hobbyists and small companies to access and customise the design of the OBI.

Now the students are close to making a fully functioning prototype, and working on durability and cost effectiveness. They hope to have the first model out on the streets of Amsterdam in early 2016.

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LarryDavidJr | 8 years ago

A group of Dutch industrial design students

That tells you all you need to know about how practical or well thought out this idea actually is (and no, the fact they're Dutch is not the relevant part of that quote).

See also "Folding three prong plug".

BBB | 8 years ago

Brilliant idea.... for a school project or Kickstarter  3

frogg | 8 years ago

Don't want to be necessarily negative, but for me it's more OBI 0.05 . If i can give an advice, just start with 3D printed parts before the whole bike. Just my two cents.

bikebot | 8 years ago

I checked their website to confirm this, but their aim is for parts to be printable on any home desktop 3D printer. I wouldn't trust injection moulded plastic, let alone the much weaker 3D printed plastic for the joins of a bike frame.

I could see people doing this to make fully customised frames, but having got the fit right you would then send the designs off to be printed on a proper industrial printer (sintered titanium). That's not going to create cheap bikes though (which we already have). It may lower the cost of a fully custom built frame, but probably not.

rich22222 | 8 years ago

Doesn't appear to have any of that stuff that makes the wheels go around...

Dr. Ko | 8 years ago

Ooch about that saddle angle.

BTW:Here in Germany OBI is the name of maybe the biggest DIY shop.

300 quid? I've shown in the past using discounted and second hand bits gives a bike with 2*10 gears on a similar budget.
( Just offered a friend of a friend a project on a similar budget.

So maybe I'm just missing the revolutionary idea here  7

hawkinspeter | 8 years ago

This could be a very interesting project. I'm a big fan of open source methodology and bikes are a natural magnet to people who like to tinker with things as bikes are easy to understand.

I'm interested in what happens when the tubes are 3d-printed with a high strength, low weight honeycomb structure. Will a cheap plastic be able to approach the characteristics of more traditional frames? Also, 3d-printing can allow more exotic designs that aren't feasible with other manufacturing techniques.

Maybe one day soon, you'll be able to submit a few key body measurements and get a bike made to fit your particular size and riding style. (And flying cars would be nice too.)

fukawitribe | 8 years ago

OBI 0.5 ? Nice  1 That will look great when it's out of beta...

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