Swiss student and French 3D printer act on suggestion to collaborate, with impressive results

A Swiss student and a Frenchman who works in 3D design, who had never previously met, have joined forces to assemble a pair of IKEA stools… and turn them into a bicycle.

Though many of us will have felt a silly Billy at times when grappling with the Swedish self-assembly giant’s instructions, producing a bookshelf that perhaps looks more like a coffee table, Andreas Bhend and Samuel Bernier produced their results entirely by design.

Bernier says in a post on the website Instructables.com that the idea that the pair collaborate was suggested to them by an article last November on the website Core77, which focused on printed lampshades that he had made to repair IKEA lamps.

That article said: "Where Andreas Bhend's recently-seen IKEA hacks included instructions à la the Swedish furniture giant's pictographic booklets, Bernier has seen fit to customize a part of the whole. But if they're disparate yet equally creative approaches to DIY making, perhaps the next step is for the two to join forces: Andreas, if you're reading this, we'd love to see you guys collaborate on a series of IKEA hacks with bespoke 3D printed parts and instructions..."

That suggestion struck the pair as a good idea, so Bhend travelled to Paris to work alongside Bernier for two and a half days, and this video shows the fruits of their collaboration, which they’ve called the Draisienne – the French word for what in English was known as the Dandy Horse, an ancestor of the modern bicycle.

An instruction manual has also been produced in a style that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever bought anything from IKEA - pretty much most of us, then.

It should be said that not every single part in the bike comes in the Frosta stool that were used as the starting point – helpfully, however, if you want to make your own, they’ve made available 3D printing files which can be downloaded here, or you can even order those parts from the 3D printing start-up Bernier works for, FabShop, here.

You can also follow FabShop on Twitter and Facebook.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.