Oct 4, 2016 | By Alec

Take it from someone living in the Netherlands: people cycle everywhere here, and bike rides can quickly get uncomfortable. You don’t need to be an ergonomic expert to see that one-size-fits-all saddles, helmets and bar grips do not always fit your body perfectly, and let me assure you that you will notice that within your first half hour on a bike. Of course you can always opt for a custom-made professional solution, but those can cost several hundred or even thousands of dollars. Fortunately, there is a 3D printed alternative as Startup FormyGrips by Sky Van Iderstine has just launched a crowdfunding campaign for Formy 3D printed bar grips, which offer a more affordable and durable option for customized handlebar grips.

The concept for the 3D printed handlebars grew out of Van Iderstine’s own love for cycling, notably when he noticed that that bicycle grips can wear out very quickly. Handlebar grips are absolutely crucial for reducing shock on rough terrain and providing comfort during longer rides. Looking for a more durable option, the mechanical engineer Van Iderstine set out to design his own alternative – simultaneously making sure they perfectly fit him and looked great.

The resultant 3D printed Formy bar grips provide everything the cyclist could dream of. “Through extensive research and development, it was discovered that designing grips using 3D scanning can improve user comfort and control, while manufacturing them using 3D printing can improve durability and color options,” the developer says. Notably, the 3D printed lattice interior enhances the product's durability, while a wide range of filament colors ensures that your grip will suit any bike. Formy is now seeking to bring these bespoke grips to cyclists everywhere through Kickstarter.

In terms of customization, Van Iderstine spent much time 3D scanning and statistically analyzing the hands of countless cyclists, which allowed him to create a database of hands that should cover 99 percent of all adult hand sizes. In fact, Formy only needs two hand measurements from the customer to match them to a hand in the database. Clients simply measure the length of their middle finger and the width of their hand, and that data is cross-referenced with the Formy hand database. Once a hand-impression pops out, a corresponding CAD model is subsequently 3D printed in the client’s choice of more than 40 color options. It’s a perfect example of how a custom 3D printed product can be realized in no time at all.

The Formies are made from a strong but flexible polyurethane material, which featuring a springy lattice interior. “When it comes to plastics, the more flexible a material it is, the less durable it is. This is why conventional grips wear out after only a couple seasons; in order for them to be squishy enough to be comfortable, they must be made of a material that wears out easily,” Van Iderstine says about conventional products. The 3D printed lattice structure, however, provides a good combination of durability and flexibility – the best of both worlds.

In fact, all reports suggest that the final models have a foam-like squishiness to them, without being too slippery or rubbery. “Since Formy grips can be made so squishy, they are made of an even harder (and more durable) material than conventional grips; you'd never guess by feeling them though!,” the developer argues. They are also very compatible with biking gloves.

The Formies are currently available to backers for just $49 for a pair, with the campaign itself running until the end of October. The grips themselves can be installed onto any bike with flat handlebars, meaning that if you’re already using bike grips, your bike should be compatible with the Formy. Shortened versions for twist shifting bars are also available. 



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Steve C wrote at 10/4/2016 9:47:56 AM:

You are missing a good market. A friend of mine did some good business selling handlebar grips in Daytona for Bike Week, and at Biker conclaves in other areas too. Not all bikes have pedals.

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