Arc Bicycle has 3D-printed steel frame created by TU Delft students and MX3D

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People in the Netherlands will soon be able to cycle over the world's first 3D-printed steel bridge on the world's first 3D-printed steel bicycle (+ movie).

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

The Arc Bicycle was designed by a student team at TU Delft and 3D-printed from steel by MX3D – the research studio that plans to use the same technique to create a bridge over a canal in Amsterdam.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

Created as part of the six-month Advanced Prototyping course at the university, the bicycle's frame is made from a metal lattice welded in layers by robots.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

MX3D's six-axis robotic arms allow metals and resins to be printed mid-air in any direction, without the need for support structures.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

"3D printing has exploded in popularity in the last decade, but for those wanting to print medium- to large-scale objects there are still significant limitations in the technology," said Harry Anderson from the 3D Building FieldLab team at TU Delft, also known as the Delft University of Technology.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

"This method of 3D printing makes it possible to produce medium- to large-scale metal objects with almost total form freedom," he added.



The team, lead by project coordinator Jouke Verlinden, claims that its bicycle is the first to be fabricated using this process. The vehicle weighs around the same as a standard steel bike, and its frame can withstand rides over cobbled streets.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

"It was important for us to design a functional object that people use everyday. Being students in the Netherlands, a bicycle naturally came to mind," said team member Stef de Groot. "A bicycle frame is a good test for the technology because of the complex forces involved."

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

The Arc Bicycle was used to demonstrate the technology that MX3D plans to construct its 3D-printed canal bridge with.

The research and development startup, co-founded by designer Joris Laarman and Tim Geurtjens, aims to print the eight-metre bridge in one piece and install it over a canal in Amsterdam by 2017.

Arc Bicycle by TU Delft students

Laarman told Dezeen that their printing technique could be used to produce "endless" different structures in an exclusive movie.

3D-printing has previously been used to create a lightweight titanium alloy frame for a bicycle, and aluminium parts for a wooden bike.


Project credits:

Student team: Harry Anderson, Stef de Groot, Ainoa Areso Rossi, Sjoerd van de Velde and Joost Vreeken
Project coordinator: Jouke Verlinden
3D printing: Filippo Gilardi, Jakob Schmidt and Simon Rudolph – MX3D

  • SK

    I think you should mention the project coordinator Jouke Verlinden in the credits as well. He has been one of the driving forces behind the project and has been the initiator.

  • SK

    PS the bicycle was one of the assignments in the minor “Advanced Prototyping” – a six-month full-time course developed by the faculties Industrial Design and Architecture of the TUDelft that has just finished for this school year.

    This particular part of the minor usually takes four weeks (full-time). However, to completely finish the bicycle it took a bit longer than that.

  • IDRACULA

    Ugly bike. What happened to design? In this case, just because you can doesn’t mean you should use 3D-printing technology.

  • Damian

    Modern cycle design is about weight and aerodynamics, both are not addressed properly. The question that needs answering: why does this project come in the shape of a bike then?

  • aaronbbrown

    Looks kind of heavy, the bicycle.

  • Kate

    Yeah, both look bad.

  • mr3dprint

    I see that @edditive has already commented but having seen his bike at an exhibition in 2014, isn’t this one basically a copy of his design? Materials might be different but that’s just because the technology is getting better every day.

  • Ricardo Derikx

    Peter Parker approved. It would fit in well in a superhero movie but not on our streets. Would you drive one? Cool tech though!

  • DutchWhitePower

    Yeah, really easy to clean compared to the old-fashioned shaped frames. Good job wasting time!

  • sglover

    Really ingenious! But is there a weld everywhere metal crosses metal? It looks like the structural members are just a few millimetres wide, so I wonder how the welds will hold up over time.

    Regardless, it’s fantastic work.