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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Any ideas/wish-lists for 3D printing?

Hey all,

I'm a Mechanical Engineering student that likes bikes and has an interest in digging into CAD software. I've designed a few things for use in consumer 3D printers, but haven't been able to think of any good ideas relating to biking that haven't been done already. If anyone happens to have an idea or two they think might be cool to 3D print, I'd be happy to dedicate some free time to making it a reality. I've been trying to learn surfacing lately, so organic and aero shapes aren't out of the question and are something I'm actually trying to practice, though no CFD is guaranteed :p

Not trying to make money off of this, if I design anything it'll be put up as a .stl file that you can just shove into a 3D printer and print out yourself. I don't have any access to high end bikes like some other printers, but I can definitely design ergonomic shapes for more common components. Load bearing things are usually out of the question for consumer printers though, they'll usually just delaminate quickly, unless you punch it to Shapeways and do it in a more robust process.

edit:: Couple ideas I've already had that might be viable
- Chainring to FD alignment tool, gruppo/tooth-count dependent
- Some sort of drop down holder that fits onto the front brake mounting screw to hold a plastic fender you can cutout from a plastic folder, kind of like an Ass-Saver except for your front wheel.
- Ergo handgrips to put underneath bar tape (scrapped until I figure out if adjusting my stem length would actually help me more, but here's a preliminary render)
Blue Product White Line Airplane
 

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Hey all,

I'm a Mechanical Engineering student that uses a bike to get to and from class, not much in the way of pro cycling, but it's always piqued my interest, especially with all the aero stylings, geometries, forces involved, etc. I recently started getting good at using CAD software to design a few 3D printed parts on the side for some of my hobbies, but I've never been able to think of a few good ideas for cycling.
Unless someone else is bored or getting paid to read your post, it's no surprise to see you're getting no response. Try condensing it down to one paragraph with a clearly stated request that is not buried in the middle of a pile of prose.

As a future professional engineer, developing the ability to communicate succinctly will serve you at least as well as your engineering skills.
 

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3D printing has been around since the late 1980s. I was SLA printing parts in the early 1990s. It has recently come into fashion with the lower entry cost, and computer power readily available.

I recently attended a 3D printing class at Virginia Tech. It was fantastic, and I learned the current state of the art. additive manufacturing is working very well in small niche industries like Invisalign braces, and making prothsetics for kids. While folks are printing metal, the strength properties are relatively unknown or weak. There is also the problem of viruses in your .stl files.

There are parts in military and commercial aircraft that are printed.

Nylon parts tend to delaminate. Part quality sucks, at least when printed on a makerbot. The parts still require considerable time to pull out the support material, unless you have two heads and use water soluble support material. I spent 10 minutes pulling the raft material from the bottom of a part today, and never got all of it off.


ULTEM appears to be a fantastic material, but it is expensive....like $20 for a cubic inch.


3D printing still has a long way to go before it becomes more viable across the board. But, I'm glad to see people are experimenting and pushing the limits of the technology. You gotta start somewhere.


I hope to see the technology flourish in the coming decade. There is a lot of potential. But, for now, it is still mostly for making toys and prototype parts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Unless someone else is bored or getting paid to read your post, it's no surprise to see you're getting no response. Try condensing it down to one paragraph with a clearly stated request that is not buried in the middle of a pile of prose.

As a future professional engineer, developing the ability to communicate succinctly will serve you at least as well as your engineering skills.
Edited my 3AM ramble, taking your point to heart. Rambling is something I'm working on unfortunately, career fairs have definitely taught me that lately
 

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Try condensing it down to one paragraph with a clearly stated request that is not buried in the middle of a pile of prose.
While this is good advice, if someone was really interested in 3-D printing & had some ideas for parts, they would be jumping all over this, independent of the length (imho).

There is a lot of potential. But, for now, it is still mostly for making toys and prototype parts.
Yes, there are still issues but the progress that has been made in just the last few years is amazing.

I recently purchased a Fly6 rear-view camera. It wouldn't fit on my bike. Someone else had the same issue, created a strong, lightweight part that interfaces with the ubiquitous GoPro attachments. Now the Fly6 is usable. A few years ago I would have had to return the camera.
 
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