World’s first 3D-printed bike created in Manchester

Posted on 18 Dec 2014 by The Manufacturer

The world’s first bicycle with a 3D-printed metal frame has been created in Stone, and it’s on show at a new exhibition in Manchester.

The ‘additive manufacturing’ division (the industry term for 3D printing) of Renishaw has collaborated with the Manchester Museum of Science & Industry (MOSI) on the free exhibition that’s open now until April 19 next year.

The exhibition is called 3D: Printing the Future and celebrates the technology and explores how it is being used in medicine, manufacturing, aerospace and more. Over 500 objects made using the technique can be seen at the exhibition, including the world’s first bike with a 3D printed metal frame that Renishaw – that is based on the Whitebridge industrial estate in Stone – manufactured in collaboration with Empire Cycles. Visitors can also have a look at a plastic 3D printer in action.

To demonstrate the versatility of 3D printing, Renishaw helped to produce bottle openers, an exhaust manifold, a knee replacement, a dental bridge, a skull with maxillofacial implants and other complex structures using 3D printing. As the UK’s only manufacturer of metal-based additive manufacturing machines, the company provided several parts for this exhibition, including the central piece – a bike with a metal 3D printed frame.

Lucy Grainger, product marketing engineer at Renishaw in Stone said: “In 2013, Renishaw sponsored a sister exhibition organised by the Science Museum in London. Exhibitions are a great way of raising awareness about new technologies. They allow us to explain realistic applications of 3D printing and what it can do for manufacturing, industry, medicine and consumers alike.”

“3D printing is revolutionising the fields of medicine and engineering,” added the exhibition’s curator, Sarah Baines. “We wanted to celebrate the technology and inspire the next generation of engineers – not just in London, but also in other areas of the UK. We’re keen to explain to visitors of all ages how 3D printing has democratised design, encouraged innovation and what kind of opportunities it holds for the future.”