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A Cardboard Bike with 3D Printed Parts and Aero Bike’s Wooden Beam Bicycle

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Aero wooden bicycle, lifestyle shot

It’s pretty interesting that creative designers and engineers sometimes build bicycles to pursue the study of new ideas or concepts. It piques our interest even further when the frame construction materials are a little outside the box…or perhaps part of the box (or crate)!

Two rather peculiar bikes have recently been created as engineering projects, one made almost entirely from cardboard and the other featuring an architecturally inspired wooden frame. While neither was made with the specific focus on producing a marketable bicycle, the Aero wooden bike seen above may not remain a prototype forever.

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but will bikes one day? Click below the break to see…

Cardboard bike with 3D printed parts, side
Photo courtesy of 3Dprint.com

This rudimentary looking bike is made almost entirely from cardboard, with a few 3D printed pieces to finish it off. The contraption was built for and introduced at the Bay Area Maker Faire, a design expo held May 16 and 17th in San Mateo, California. The designer wasn’t exactly shooting for a production-ready bicycle, in fact his only goal was to ride it in a 10 foot long straight line three times.

The cardboard bike was built by aerospace engineer Jose Ramil Seneris. Seneris spent just over two months working on the design and construction at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose. It’s certainly not the first cardboard bike, as Seneris took some inspiration from one he had seen at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, built by Izhar Gafni. Technically Seneris’ is the first cardboard bicycle that was built with 3D printed parts.

Cardboard bike with 3D printed parts, angle
Photo courtesy of 3Dprint.com

The bike’s wheels are 24” diameter and it its basic proportions are similar to a mountain bike. Most of the bike was made from cardboard pieces cut and assembled with simple tools like knives and glue guns, including the frame, fork, handlebar, pedals, and even the axles. The front and rear sprockets were 3D printed, and the crank and chain remain a mystery… Seneris did describe this bicycle as a first prototype, so we might well see an improved version in the future. No word yet on cardboard space shuttle development.

Aero wooden bicycle, angle view

This aesthetically linear bike is called the Aero Bicycle, and the wooden framed prototype was designed and built by architects Martino Hutz, Atanas Zhelev, and Mariya Korolova. The bicycle debuted at Milan Design Week 2015, which is not surprising as it’s quite a looker! While this design is a lot more feasible than the cardboard one above, this bike was actually created to study how thin sheets of wood (lamellas) could be applied in large building construction.

Aero wooden bicycle, seat mast area

Lamellas are 0.9mm thick strips of birch wood glued together in layers, which resemble front-to-back leaf springs on the bike’s frame. At the stubby seat mast and bottom bracket the strips spread slightly apart, and sandwich together at the head tube and rear dropouts. The grain in each strip of wood is aligned to provide additional strength, and the designers found this method proved to be lighter, more flexible and more durable versus traditional wood construction materials.

The Aero bicycle began as a university project, and the team has been working on building it since June 2014. The architects are also exploring the idea of incorporating carbon and aluminum layers within the wooden frame to achieve more strength without compromising the design. The frame is designed to provide ride damping as the wood beams flex, and since they’re calling it ‘the first product from Aero Bikes’, perhaps someday we’ll get to find out how a real production model rides. Check out more details on the Aero bike on Facebook or the designer’s websites.

mastudio-digitalarchitects.com

martinohutz.de

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iboc
iboc
8 years ago

(deleted)

pmurf
pmurf
8 years ago

Hey, at least it’s got thru-axles.

trash
trash
8 years ago

BR Feature idea: clouds that resemble bicycles!

Gillis
Gillis
8 years ago

(deleted)

JD
JD
8 years ago

…and an unrideable geometry

Psi Squared
Psi Squared
8 years ago

I like how BikeRumor readers are critical but yet can’t seem to read with any appreciable comprehension. The BR crowd certainly lacks creativity.

Ryan
Ryan
8 years ago

“creative designers and engineers sometimes build bicycles to pursue the study of new ideas or concepts”

As a designer, these projects help create new ideas and ways of thinking. This is basically a visual, physical brainstorming proof-of-concept type experiment used to grow and learn.

Let’s complain and pee all over this.

Ripnshread
Ripnshread
8 years ago

What is the difference between a laminate and a lamella?

robert
robert
8 years ago

@gillis

he couldnt afford the pedals chain or track cog on his current allowance.

Slow Joe Crow
Slow Joe Crow
8 years ago

I think a lamella, plural lamellae are components of a laminate.
Also note that while the lamella bike builders couldn’t afford a chain, cog, pedals or grips, they did weld a bottle opener to the right fork leg.
The lamella bike looks like something producible as a city bike with some suspension from deliberate frame flex.
The cardboard bike seems to be a question of what striking thing can we make to show off our fabrication capabilities, so being able to ride around an exhibit hall would fulfill its mission.

Greg
Greg
8 years ago

I want the rudimentary model.

Antipodean_G
8 years ago

The cardboard bike… not so much. I mean, in no way (in my eyes) does it express any sort of radical thinking other than being able to make a bike like object out of cardboard. If it’s only a feasibility study, then really, it should be kept ‘quiet’ until something more…. substantial can be demonstrated.

The Aero though is interesting and the haters, as usual, are busy hating. I agree with the sentiment that if you are going to show a ‘concept’ at least include the basics, i.e. chain, brakes etc. to make it at least come across as legit. And the silly posing hipster and no so interested girl, c’mon, you have an interesting concept, stop cheapening it. But it’s interesting and good to see people thinking outside of the box (there could be a pun there…!)

Madm3chanic
8 years ago

im assuming the cardboard thing is a joke, but that wooden bike…dang! sexiest frame iv seen in a while. now they just gotta team up with someone who actually makes bikes so they can create a sexy frame like that with geometry that works and they are onto a winner! also brake mounts might be an idea.

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