TCT Magazine reports on a recent test undergone by BigRep. BigRep is a large-format 3D printer manufacturer. Recently, they have “3D printed the first airless bicycle tire with the help of their TPU filament Pro FLEX.”
BigRep’s goal in 3D printing this airless tire was to “demonstrate the ease and speed, as well as flexibility, in which spare parts can be 3D printed.” In order to test their brand new airless 3D printed tire, BigRep took to the streets of Berlin, Germany.
BigRep Product Designer Marco Mattia explains: “we were able to replace ‘air’ as a necessity in the tire by customizing the pattern to be one of a three-layered honeycomb design. Based on the same principle, the design can be altered to fit the requirements of specific kinds of biking, such as mountain biking and road racing, or for different weather and speed conditions.”
As BigRep had hoped, the success of this airless 3D printed tire “showcases the potential for 3D printing to develop new complex geometries, which could not be produced with traditional production methods. The tire was printed to scale as a large 1:1 object on the BigRepONE 3D printer, which has a build volume of one cubic meter, without the need for gluing work or any other post-processing.”
BigRep’s CEO Stephan Beyer concludes: “we have expanded our technical portfolio with a high-impact, high-temperature-resistant material in Pro FLEX, which has higher interlayer-bonding than we have ever seen before, and robust chemical resistance for a range of technical applications. There is a clear use case for flexible parts that can be customized and printed on a needs basis, across med-tech, aerospace, automotive, and other industries.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of BigRep and TCT Magazine