Engineers from a Canadian university see their 3D-printed bike snap the first time anyone tries to ride it and promise to go back to the drawing board

Three-dimensional printing is the future, apparently. If you are to believe the reports, our armies will be using 3D printed guns, our dentists will fit us with 3D printed dentures and our cobblers will go out of business thanks to 3D printed shoes.

But an attempt in Canada to create a bike with a 3D printer has failed pretty spectacularly, as the three scientists behind the idea watched their pride and joy snap in half in front of gathered reporters.

James Nugent and Michael Mackay-MacLaren of Carleton University, Ottawa, took the incident in their stride, however, laughing as Gabriel Wong broke their machine the instant he sat on it.

Towards the end of the video the engineers talk about the notion of the design allowing people to create their own ‘Ikea’ bike, which they could print off themselves if they fancied a ride.

Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 15.42.10

However, the design at the start of the video showed that over 200 hours of printing had gone into making the machine, and clearly more are required to make it actually work.

So when you get around to buying your 3D printer (many of which cost more than an actual bike) and you fancy going for a ride, set the printer to ‘on’ and just eight days later you can be out on the road. And by ‘on the road’ we mean literally on the road, when it snaps underneath you.

  • wallymann

    this is what happens when designers create something w/o engineering input!

  • Mike

    The chain part?

  • I see the current state-of-the-art in 3D printing as better for making molds for parts rather than actual bikes. But there are experimental printers that work in steel and titanium making parts for race cars that might end up moving the manufacturing back to local bike stores and away from China.