Urwahn Bikes a German Bicycle manufacturer and Austrian custom motorcycle brand Vagabund Moto has collaborated to 3D print a steel bike frame. The “Stadtfuchs” or “city fox” is lightweight and has electric components streamlined into the unique frame. Urwahn has already produced 50 preordered frames with the target of 100 by the end of the year.
“Habitat adaptability is the key to survival for every animal,” states Thomas, CEO and co-founder of Urwahn Bikes. He continues “The Fox is a masterful adaption artist. He conquers our cities with great refinement and inventiveness and winds his way effortlessly and silently through the smallest corners while hunting. This serves as a model for the Stadtfuchs.”
The development team led by designer Sebastian Meinecke took several years to develop the Stadtfuchs using ultra high strength steel 1.2709. A Concept Laser M2 cusing Multilaser system is used to make the frame, which is made as an assembly then welded together.
“When we first started developing the Urwahn frame in a university project around 4 years ago, one of our first prototypes was already printed by selective laser melting. We also experimented with other production technologies,” explains Thomas.
Unlike most bikes the Stadtfuchs doesn’t have a seat tube, the supporting bracket usually positioned just below the seat, giving the frame a “floating” appearance and with the benefits of 3D printing they can incorporate the lights into the frame.
“After we continued with precision casting, we realized that the walls where too thin for this production procedure,” Thomas continues. “Therefore, we switched to SLM and managed to get very good surfaces and repeatable quality,”
“Those positive features in combination with the possibility to integrate technical elements such as the light, cable routing or the seat clamp into the frame, qualified the 3D printing for us.”
The 3D printed bike frame consists of the main lugs, including drawn tubes, the monostay, head tube, seat connector, bottom bracket and dropouts. “The filigree drawn tube profiles form the basic structure of our innovative steel frame. Similar to the hind legs of a fox, the elastic rear frame guarantees dynamic manoeuvrability and compensates for uneven road surfaces to the benefit of your driving comfort,” explains Thomas.
Currently being able to produce 10 frames a week with the hopes of reaching 100 2D printed frames by the end of 2019. Thomas states, “with the next generation and product variations we’ll be able to integrate more components for an even more puristic bicycle.”
“We are proud to call ourselves technology pioneers of the bicycle industry,” Thomas continues. “Of the many pre-orders received, we’ve made 50 bikes up to now. We’re aiming to reach a production of 100 bikes this year.”
Essop, Anas, et al. “INTERVIEW: Urwahn Target 3D Printed Production of 100 Bike Frames by End of Year.” 3D Printing Industry, 23 Aug. 2019, 3dprintingindustry.com/news/interview-urwahn-x-vagabund-target-3d-printed-production-of-100-bike-frames-by-end-of-year-160778/.