Laser Sintered Wheels In Motion
Coming to us from EADS, the European aerospace and defence group, is this impressive demonstration of the latest in laser sintering technology.
The fully functional Airbike is made from nylon, and thanks to the additive manufacturing process it boasts comparable strength to more traditional materials, while clever construction and assembly saves in overall weight.
All moving components (wheels, axles, bearings etc) are printed concurrently meaning conventional maintenance and assembly are a thing of the past. In true mass-customisation style, the design and build process would allow for rider specific geometry to be a part of each unit. Therefore, no adjustments are required – an Airbike can (in theory) be built to fit your limbs with absolute precision.
These new developments in laser sintering began in the hangars of Airbus before being further developed by EADS to produce a functional demonstration prototype.
It’s still early days for this technology, but we are sure to see some major changes to transportation of all kinds once the time and costs involved in Additive Manufacturing settle to levels a little closer to everyday reality.