Imagine a future where you can download schematics for a product from the internet, and then use a 3D printer to create the product in the middle of your living room. Such a future is almost here, and cyclists may soon be able to print their own bicycles.
3D printing is the process of using digital schematics and materials such as plastic to print real-world objects. The technology has caught the close attention of NASA, which plans to use 3D printers in space to create tools and other objects.
A design firm in Oregon has recently developed a 3D-printed titanium bicycle, which could possibly change the cycling industry. In the past, people who designed bicycles relied on engineers and others to help them complete a final product. With 3D printing, the schematics are uploaded onto a computer and created by a machine using advanced software.
In addition to making manufacturing easier, cyclists and designers would have more options for customizing their bicycles. Instead of recreating a bicycle from scratch, designers using a 3D printer could edit the schematics and reprint a new product.
Why Could 3D Printing Make Bicycle Customization Limitless?
In Queensland, Australia, this idea has already caught on with some bicycle manufacturers. An Australian researcher spent months developing schematics for a completely plastic 3D-printed bicycle in hopes that he could transform the process of manufacturing. According to the researcher, 3D printing allows manufacturers to customize bicycles that can suit any rider.
By using innovative ideas like 3D printing, the world could truly change the way we buy, design and use bicycles.
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