The boutique US bike brand Franco Bicycles has presented what they claim is the first 3D-printed carbon e-bike, the Emery One. It's fully designed and built in California, and Franco say it's "an important milestone for the industry"
The 3D printed, continuous carbon fibre single-piece unibody frame was made in partnership with Arevo, and has been called the first Composite Additive-Manufactured bike frame. The Emery One is produced in high volume without using a laborious manual process, and the whole frame can be made with an automated system. The composite parts are made with thermoplastics, which are tougher, durable and recyclable compared to brittle and non-recyclable thermoset materials.
Arevo use patented software algorithms which enable generative design techniques, free-motion robotics for 3D construction and direct energy deposition for virtually void free construction. The process also leads to greater freedom of design according to Arevo, as the technology allows them to make fully customised bikes on an on-demand basis.
The Emery One itself has a Bosch Performance Line drivetrain and a 600w maximum power output. It's available in 20mph and 28mph max speed versions - both very much not EU-legal. The range is between 25 and 100 miles, and Franco say the all-road frame design is fast and efficient for maximum versatility.
The design process of the single part frame brings the manufacturing of a bike frame from 18 months down to just a few days at a significant reduction in costs according to Arevo, so we really could be looking at the future of bike design here... what do you think, are 3D printed frames the future? Let us know in the comments.