Interbike Blog

Printable bikes are cool… but are they handmade?

This video of a company making a “ridable” bicycle on a 3D printer isn’t new, but it’s still darned impressive to watch. The fact that one of the engineers actually gets on the nylon bike at the end and pedals around is pretty amazing.

So that’s cool. You’ll be able to print yourself a new bike at home in the future. But what I really want an answer to is whether these bikes would be considered “handmade.” Seems like an awful lot of care, thought and skill were poured in to not consider it, at least. It also would, arguably, allow for the possibility of the most custom of custom bikes. Maybe that would make the argument moot: the end result justifies the means of production.

Not that I have a horse in this race that’s been getting some press lately (well, in full disclosure mode, maybe I do given Interbike’s customer list), but I do enjoy following the debate intellectually and–as an owner of both types of bike–admire the fruits of both sides of the aisle.

Now the really important question: will the cost of new bike printer ink be just as expensive as my current paper printer’s ink?

 

Posted In: Interbike, Video

1 Comment

  1. The bike seemed a bit unstable – maybe the PrintBike2 could use slightly more trail. Really fascinating though. Imagine the wheel pit in a race?

    “Size, front or rear, what brake, what speed, what rim width?”
    “700c, rear, disc brake 210mm, 14 speed, 28mm.”
    “Give me 20 seconds to print out a wheel for you.”