New 3D-printed bike frame made from recycled polycarbonate
Latest News: Recently, during Milan Design Week, a new 3D printed bicycle frame was introduced to the public for the first time. Designed by Italian companies INDEXLAB and GIMAC-EXGINEERING, this prototype is made from 100% recycled polycarbonate and fabricated using a robotic arm. The 8kg frame mounted on the New01bike is designed to promote a circular economy and customization. Its main purpose is to recycle objects at the end of their lifespan to create a bespoke product that adapts to each user’s personal taste.
You might now think this is just another 3D printed bike frame, building on countless others, as 3D technology and cycling have been so much discussed in recent months. But this time the approach is a little different, as it’s mostly about quickly producing a custom bike that’s also recyclable. INDEXLAB explains: “Customized ergonomic bicycles are not only expensive and slow to manufacture, but also difficult to mass produce because they are custom-made for specific needs and uses. On the other hand, mass serialized bicycles are Few have so many features to accommodate the body proportions and movements of different users because they are made for the ‘standard user’. New01bike was created to fill this gap, making custom bikes affordable, fast, and easy Mass production and recycling.”
The bike’s frame is 3D printed from recycled polycarbonate, which gives it a transparent finish. We can’t be sure which objects are recycled to get the final material, but since polycarbonate is being widely used in the production of transparent objects and requires high impact resistance, if the frame is made from recycled safety glasses or motorcycle helmets Well, we wouldn’t be surprised.
In terms of technology, New01bike chose robotic rapid prototyping, using a 6-axis robot. Alternatively, New01bike uses another robot to mill the frame’s fixtures at the level of the crankset and rear wheel. This method was chosen in order to obtain a curved and strong part, features not possible with three-axis machines. The frame weighs about 8kg.
INDEXLAB concludes: “The goal will be to create a local recycling system for recycling and manufacturing, enabling an organised approach that promotes sustainable materials and new production methods to make products without sacrificing functionality.”