Oct 25, 2017 | By Benedict

Slovakian company Kinazo Design has 3D printed an electric bicycle with the help of auto company Volskwagen. The two-wheeled vehicle, printed on a Concept Laser X Line 2000R 3D printer, is available to buy for €20,000 ($23,500).

We already know that German automotive giant Volkswagen occasionally dabbles in 3D printing—to print spare parts for its cars, for example. But you probably wouldn’t expect the carmaker to be using its additive manufacturing capabilities to make bicycles.

Yet that’s exactly what it has done with the Kinazo ENDURO e1, a new electric bicycle designed and produced by Slovakian company Kinazo Design.

It’s not a VW vehicle, of course, but the German car company collaborated with the Slovakian designers to make the impressive 3D printed two-wheeler, which will retail for €20,000—around $23,500. That’s actually a lot more than many VW cars, but Kinazo thinks it’s worth it.

“The advantage of 3D printing lies in the fact that each piece can be original,” says Kinazo’s Patrik Paul.

Weighing 20 kilograms, the Kinazo e1 is powered by an efficient eDrive system containing optional variants of mid-drive 250 W BROSE motors: Pedelec (up to 25 km/h) or S-Pedelec (up to 45 km/h), supported by BMZ batteries with 500-650 Wh capacity. Operation of the bike’s electronics is controlled by a mobile app.

“We wanted to build something out of this world,” Kinazo says. “An e-bike, a bicycle with an integrated battery and engine anyone would fall in love with at first sight. Every figure, weight, and style would be customized for the journey the customer wants to take.”

That customization has been enabled by Volkswagen Slovakia’s Concept Laser X Line 2000R 3D printer, generally believed to be the largest powder-bed metal additive system in the world (a claim recently disputed by XDM 3D Printing Technology in China).

The X Line 2000R SLM 3D printer has dual 1 kW lasers, a build rate approaching 120 cm3/hr, and a phenomenally large (for metal 3D printing, at least) build area of 800 x 400 x 500 mm. On a day-to-day basis, this printing power allows staff at the Slovakian Volkswagen facility to carry out various additive manunfacturing automotive projects on its cars.

“Thanks to the innovative possibilities of 3D printing, with the use of globally the biggest 3D printer, we produce for sectors all over the world: prototypes, small series, components, as well as tools and appliances,” explains Volkswagen Slovakia’s Jens Kellerbach.

But the German-made Concept Laser 3D printer also happened to suit Kinazo Design’s needs for the Kinazo e1, leading the two companies to join forces for this special project.

According to Kinazo, 3D printing the aluminum parts of the new e-bike reduced the need for welding, and even allowed the integration of the battery into the metal frame.

“Innovative 3D printing technology optimizes the active weight, geometry, and various technical parameters with significantly lower time and cost and no long manufacturing delays,” the company says.

Learn more about the Kinazo e1 here.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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