That’s right a metal 3-D printed bicycle frame has been created in the UK. Renishaw is the only UK manufacturer of metal-based additive manufacturing machines and they have teamed up with Empire Cycles another British company. Empire designed the bike so that it would be a lighter and stronger bicycle using a process known as topological optimization. You can read more about the whole process by clicking here. This 3D printing movement sure is eye popping considering that before you know it we will be able to cure world hunger by printing food as well – well maybe that won’t happen. The process involved in this project in printing sections of the bicycle frame is what peaks my interests. It is quite possible we could be seeing this in the construction industry before we know it and actually it has started.
Back in January we saw construction begin on the World’s First 3D-Printed house. While I think this is a great advancement in technology, I also feel like things won’t get done the old fashioned way using great craftsmanship and elbow grease. I do however believe the whole basis behind 3D printing is a good thing because you still do need the human element to create the idea, initiate the project, and bring it together. Maybe it is time our industry started looking closely at this new technology and how it can help. In terms of precision I am sure it would help but again I still would rather a human being build my house or my building. How this impacts the industry will be interesting to see, will jobs be lost, will certain manufacturers go out of business because they are not keeping up with the times, or will this whole notion of 3D-printing just fizzle out?