It seemed that no sooner had a 3D printing ‘bureau’ opened down the road than it had closed again, perhaps prematurely anticipating the far-reaching influence the technology was going to have on everyday life. 3D printing may be a developing technology but it is definitely here to stay.
It is already having a far-reaching effect on the industrial design and engineering sectors. Flying Machine is a West Australian bicycle design studio that’s fervently exploring the technology. The F-One-HD is the latest prototype to utilise their 3D printed titanium lug system.
Flying Machine are based in the West Australian capital of Perth, one of the most remote cities on the planet, although it’s not short on innovation. The studio has been working with the CSIRO to develop a production standard lug system using a Swedish Arcam 3D printer.
The Arcam printer uses an electron beam to progressively melt layers of titanium powder slowly together until a finished design is created. From CAD to metal, as it were. Flying Machine use this technology to create ti ‘lugs’ whose angles are infinitely variable to minute degrees.
The lugs and tubes are then fused together to create the frame, which has so far proved to be a flying success. Several Australian deliveries have been made already and one should have landed in the US by the time you read this. Admit it, you’d like to take it for a spin.
Special thanks to MTB photographer Sean Lee for the snaps.