Renishaw Metal 3D printing technology has been used to produce custom components for the Great Britain cycling team (GBCT) at Tokyo Olympics 2020.
On HB.T ââbikes, GBCT has won seven Olympic medals, with Laura Kenny CBE becoming the most successful British Olympian of all time and Jason Kenny CBE becoming the most successful British Olympian of all time. Laura won gold in the Madison event alongside Katie Archibald, as well as silver in the women’s team pursuit, while Jason took gold in the men’s keirin and silver in the men’s team sprint. .
Renishaw, which will provide continued support to GBCT as part of a longer-term partnership, was approached by British Cycling in 2019 to help them develop a new track bike. Lotus Engineering and Hope Technology had teamed up to design and build the HB.T, with Renishaw being included in development efforts due to additive manufacturing’s ability to produce lighter, more complex components that would help improve the speed of the bike.
Additive manufacturing was initially used to produce prototype plastic and metal components for the aerodynamic tests that took place to ensure that the parts would be light, geometrically correct, and strong enough to withstand the stresses during racing. Following this proof of concept process, the RenAM 500Q metal additive manufacturing system was used to produce aluminum and titanium parts, including handlebars, for competition bikes, with each rider having them personalized. The bike was ridden in the opening round of the 2019/2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup series in Minsk, Belarus in November 2019 and then helped GBCT to seven medals, including three medals. ‘gold.
âThe UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) rules for international competitions around forms and seat stays enabled this innovative bike, but it presented a huge challenge in making the bike light enough to be suitable for Olympic competition, so optimizing strength versus weight would be the key to success, âcommented Ben Collins, design / development engineer for Renishaw’s additive manufacturing group, who has been involved throughout the project. âIt was exciting to see Renishaw’s expertise in additive manufacturing play a pivotal role in Britain’s race for Olympic gold in Tokyo. The team won three gold, three silver and one bronze, which was a brilliant achievement for the riders and a great demonstration of the benefits of additive manufacturing.
âWhen you do something new and brave you have a lot of challenges to overcome and this is where Renishaw has been fantastic,â added Tony Purnell, Chief Technology Officer for British Cycling. âThe Renishaw team worked with the engineers to complete the refinement at breakneck speed. In the past it took months to go from the drawing board to a part you could try out on the test bench or in the velodrome and now we can do it in a matter of weeks.
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