Canyon Unveils Sustainable 3D Printed Mountain Bike Prototype

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bicycle manufacturer Canyon launched a 3D-printed mountain bike prototype that aims to demonstrate a more sustainable method of producing bicycles.

Work with a 3D printing software and service provider materialize, Canyon 3D printed the bike’s frame and fork as part of Bike Magazine Germany’s “Ride Green” campaign. The finished bike was presented at the recent Cycle fair in London.

The Ride Green bike

The objective of the Ride Green project was to design a bike that was as sustainable as possible, with all its components fully recyclable. The materials used also needed to be reusable without compromising the quality of the parts produced, while reducing waste was another key project objective.

Canyon was tasked with building the bike’s frame and fork from cradle to cradle, and opted for 3D printing as the most suitable and sustainable production method. The company used Materialize’s Selective Laser Melting (SLM) 3D printing technology to fabricate the components to achieve the desired unique shape of the frame.

Materialize is no stranger to the bike industry, having deployed its technology to print 2,000 parts for another bike manufacturer Pinarello’s Last year’s Dogma F race bike. In addition to achieving substantial weight reductions for a bike-critical seat clamp component, the company also created a full-service custom workflow for the project.

Canyon 3D printed bike frame. Photo via Bike Magazine.

In order to meet the sustainability requirements of the project, the frame and fork were 3D printed from recycled aluminum powder. Canyon also wanted to reduce the overall amount of raw materials used in frame manufacturing, not only to improve the environmental impact of the bike, but also to reduce frame weight and provide performance benefits.

The frame is comprised of a skeleton that forms its structure, which is encased in an outer shell to provide additional protection and more desirable surface properties.

The frame was 3D printed in three pieces, each taking around six hours to produce. When printed, the frame and fork weighed only 2 kilograms. Although Canyon says there are currently no plans for the bike to enter production, the project could potentially influence the design and manufacture of future models for the company.

The bike frame was 3D printed in three parts and glued together.  Photo via Bike Magazine.
The bike frame was 3D printed in three parts and glued together. Photo via Bike Magazine.

Boost cycling performance with AM

Given the ability of 3D printing to consolidate multiple parts into single lightweight components and produce components with previously unfeasible geometries, the benefits of the technology have been increasingly realized by bicycle manufacturers in recent years.

For example, a producer of custom bikes Robust cycles transferred the production of its titanium bicycle parts to Handmade materials’ Cold Metal Fusion (CMF) technology, and has previously worked with RAM3D print parts for its road bikes. British cycling even enlisted by Renishaw helps 3D print aluminum and titanium parts for its new track bike presented at the Tokyo 2022 Olympic Games.

Meanwhile, some 3D printing companies have decided to launch their 3D printed bicycle components, such as Headmade Materials and Element22 who launched their new co-developed Titanum 3D printed bike pedal design on the platform last year.

Elsewhere, the tastes of Fizik and Specialized used Carbon DLS 3D printing technology to improve the weight and comfort of their saddles, while Stratasys’ The H350 machine has been used by DQBD to produce fully custom 3D printed saddles that deliver increased performance efficiency.

Argo Adaptive Short Nose Saddle 3D printed lattice.  Photo via Fizik.
Argo Adaptive Short Nose Saddle 3D printed lattice. Photo via Fizik.

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Featured image shows Canyon 3D printed bike frame. Photo via Bike Magazine.

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