Jamie caught up with Rachel Atherton at last weekend’s London Bike Show to talk through how the Atherton Bikes are made.
Atherton Bikes use 3D printing and bonding to create their titanium and carbon bikes. Certainly not run-of-the-mill by any stretch.
Rachel Atherton runs you through the process of creating an Atherton Bikes downhill bike.
Not got enough 3G to watch the video? Read the chat from Rach below.
“So, this is a dummy machine behind me but this is the Additive Manufacturing machine, our 3D printing machine that prints the lugs.”
“The lugs are built on this plate. It builds up layers of titanium powder by blowing the powder in and a laser melts the powder into the shape of the lugs. So it’s built up in different layers and this is how it comes out of the machine.”
“It’s then cut away from the build plate, heat-treated then we’ll go over to the next station. Once they’re cut away from the build plate, they’re bonded together with the carbon tubes in the jig.”
“Here we have a trail bike that got assembled just a few days before the show. They stay in the jig for a couple of days to cure to make sure that the bond sets.
The joint is a double lap shear joint which creates a solid bond between the tube and the lug, so you get no movement, so it’s an impressive bit of kit.”
“Then, after a couple of days drying, you can build it up into a bike and you’re good to go. That is the process, from the Renishaw 3D printing machine to the complete bike, you’re looking at a week. It’s pretty sick.”
Check out the Renishaw Additive Manufacturing machines on their website here.
Read our Wise Words interview with Atherton Bikes’ co-founder Piers Linney here.
Everything else Atherton Bike-related can be found on their website.