Oerlikon’s additive manufacturing team in Barleben, Germany, has produced 150 sets of seven never-before-made components for a bicycle based on a completely new design developed by Urwahn founder Sebastian Meinecke. Urwahn is emerging as a leader in metal 3D printed bike frames: in 2020 the company collaborated with Schmolke Carbon, a specialist in carbon-fiber-reinforced bike components, to design a stunning copper-coated 3D printed bicycle. The impressive two-wheeler was tested by Track Bike World Champion Stefan Bötticher, who gave it rave reviews.
The partnership between Oerlikon and Urwahn began several years ago when Meinecke brought his idea to the Oerlikon AM team. From concept to creation, both partners determined the materials, processes and the right machines to develop this unique next-generation bike. “The collaboration with the Oerlikon team has been great,” said Meinecke. “With their knowledge of materials and technology, we were able to develop a process chain that enabled us to offer new and unique features such as fully integrated electric systems for the product. And this is just the beginning. I am excited to see what else we can innovate together by taking advantage of new materials and additive manufacturing.”
In addition to its unique shape, which uses rear-wheel elastic suspension to ensure a comfortable ride, the frame has integrated LED lighting and a GPS tracking system as well as other gadgets, which would not be feasible to make with conventional production processes. To protect the frame and add another cool dimension, a protective BALINIT CROMA PLUS coating, from the Oerlikon Balzers brand, is applied. Since the coating is of a rainbow color, no bicycle will look like another.
“This is the kind of project that sparks our creativity because we started with a completely white board,” said Hendrik Alfter, general manager of Oerlikon’s European production. “Sustainable mobility and transportation options, including cycling, are megatrends as people steer toward environmentally friendly options to stay mobile. We see great opportunity in this market.”
The bike will be on display at the Oerlikon booth at formnext, from November 16-19, 2021, at Frankfurt am Main.