3D printed frame! Not JUST 3D but Titanium 3D printed..- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    3D printed frame! Not JUST 3D but Titanium 3D printed..

    Have a look at a 3d Printed frame that is printed in titanium and if what I have seen at the engineering show a few weeks ago it is the future of manufacturing prototypes and test parts which can be used not just as a design or concept.

    Taking bike designs to new heights

    3D printed frame! Not JUST 3D but Titanium 3D printed..-screenshot-2013-12-19-17.56.jpg

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    If there were two identical frames, one titanium and one carbon fiber, which one would be lighter?

    The reason I ask is; as carbon bike become more common, it seems that titanium bikes become less common.

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    The problem is you cannot 3D print carbon as you need the carbon fibres to be long not chopped or in powder form.. So prototyping would either be none functional (for off road use) plastics or resins or like this usable Titanium. I dont think it is a cost effective production solution but for a works bike or a bespoke but very expensive limited run..

    As a test bike it is a great way of testing designs. Carbon would need new moulds making each time you make a change. But for weight... I would say carbon would be a little lighter....

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    I never mentioned 3D printing carbon.

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    True.... I think this was done both as an example of what can be done and as part of development not a production bike.... 3D printing is more for development usually...

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    looks flexy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnb View Post
    If there were two identical frames, one titanium and one carbon fiber, which one would be lighter?

    The reason I ask is; as carbon bike become more common, it seems that titanium bikes become less common.
    For two identical frames the carbon fiber will always be lighter. (carbon fiber has a lower density). However titanium is stronger than carbon fiber (Ultimate strength). It is possible (however unlikely) that a titanium frame could weigh less than a carbon fiber frame. Its all about implementation of the materials in the design that makes the most difference. Hence you will see titanium frames with smaller tubes than with frames built with aluminum or carbon fiber.

    3D printed titanium uses the Grade 5 titanium, which is much stronger than the Grade 9 usually found on bicycles. Grade 9 is more workable and is actually available in tubes (grade 5 is only available in bar stock). Unfortunately the labor to make a good titanium frame is high, coupled with the high material costs makes titanium frames cost prohibitive. Carbon Fiber is more suited to mass production, hence the lower costs, and wide selection.

    But Titanium has some unique advantages (or disadvantages) over carbon fiber. The frame is more compliant than carbon fiber (and less stiff) giving the ride a softer and more "alive" feel. Also titanium has less of a fatigue issue than with carbon fiber or aluminum frames. Although most people replace their bikes after a few seasons, a good titanium frame can last a lifetime (but technologies changes forces you to upgrade anyways).

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