EADS revealed yesterday a bicycle manufactured with an unconventional process.
The Airbike is made of Nylon but is as strong as steel or aluminum.
The elements are “grown” from powder and wheels, bearings and axes are incorporated into the "growing" process.
This manufacturing process is called ALM (Additive Layer Manufacturing) and can build an object from powdered metal, nylon or carbon reinforced plastics, a technology similar to 3D printing.
The bike is designed on a computer then built by a Laser Sintering
, which adds layers of the selected material until a solid object appears.
The Airbike which is only a technology demonstrator, highlights the expertise of the company in the manipulation of materials at the molecular level with particularly interesting applications in the aviation industry.
The ALM technique allows to obtain materials up to 65% lighter but still as strong. It opens the door to significant weight reduction in plane that would trigger a lower consumption...