Sculpteo Bike Project: 3D printed bike bravely crosses the US

Sculpteo 3D Printed Bike is Going on the Road Across the US!

Posted By on Jan 25, 2017 | 0 comments

Our two designers Alexandre d’Orsetti and Piotr Widelka are taking the Sculpteo Bike Project to the American roads for a 1 000 km memorable trip! They left Las Vegas yesterday, January 10th, and, over the next few days, they will be pedaling across Nevada and California, until they reach our San Francisco factory!

This article is updated regularly. You can navigate through it using this menu:

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You can also follow it on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SculpteoBikeProject.

 

Update January 25:

What did we learn from the Sculpteo Bike Project’s trip?

We didn’t go on this trip for the sake of the beautiful views! The Sculpteo Bike Project is a proof of concept, a way to show the possibilities of our Digital Manufacturing service. As such, the trip went perfectly well, and fulfilled its purpose:

Crossing 1000 km on the bike showed that we create fully functional parts with our digital manufacturing service, not just prototypes. All of the parts resisted the journey, in spite of the shocks of the road, the strong wind, the rain, the cold, and the ups and downs. These proved those are functional parts.

The other thing this trip showed is the adaptability of digital manufacturing: along the way, the designers had ideas to make the bike better, and started designing them. Our bike is a work in constant progress, which is one of the great possibilities allowed by digital manufacturing.

 

Update January 23:

Jan. 21: Morning TV and saying goodbye

On Saturday 21st, the day after Trump’s investiture and the Woman March, our two designers presented the Sculpteo Digital Bike on American television. They first went on Fox News:

“It was quite odd to be featured just after comments on Trump and the Woman March. It felt like we were there at an important time.”

They did their second interview from a Cycling bar, the Lucky Duck in Oakland, for Good Day Sacremento.

Sculpteo Bike project store

The Sculpteo Digital Bike in the Lucky Duck café in Oakland

And then it was time to realize the trip was over!

 

 

Jan. 20: Meeting the Sculpteo American team

They finally reach San Francisco! They meet with the Sculpteo team in the US, in our San Leandro factory.

 

And they see the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time.

“It’s always quite an event to suddenly be in front of such a familiar view.”

Sculpteo Bike Project arrived in San Francisco

Sculpteo Bike Project arrived in San Francisco

Jan. 19: Beautiful beach

Piotr and Alexandre keep moving up the coast.

“We go along the beach of Santa Cruz, which is beautiful, the weather is lovely, between sun and rain. We enjoy the ocean view.”

“The landscape has changed progressively. We are now following long and impressive cliffs.”

“Tomorrow, we reach San Francisco! To be continued.”

 

Jan. 18: Storm, a Flat tire, and reaching Santa Cruz

On this stormy day, Piotr is on the bike, and unfortunately rides on a spiky piece of plastic, which punctures a tire. They fix it in the rain, and, when they can find refuge in a market place, they change the tires back to road tires (they had used cross tires for the mountain roads, but don’t need them anymore). Finally, they reach Santa Cruz in the rain, and find a motel there.

 

Jan. 17: Riding around the landslide, and to Monterey

Stuck in Ragged Point by a landslide, Alexandre and Pietro had to leave the original itinerary, and take a detour through non-bike-friendly roads. They take the car for a bit, before finding again the Highway 101 and getting back on the bike. They take advantage of the beautiful green hills until night fall, then find a motel in Monterey

 

 

Jan. 16: A smooth ride up the coast

Alex gets on the bike early in the morning, to ride along the coast on Highway 1.

“It’s beautiful but quite physical because there are long and sharp hills. The bike rides perfectly, in spite of the ups and downs and the strong wind.”

They cross the village of Cambria, then San Simeon.

Nearby, on the beach, they encounter a colony of seals.

At Ragged Point, they’re informed the road is barred because of a landslide. They plan to go around the blocked area in the morning.

 

 

 Update January 17:

Jan. 15: San Lui Obispo and reaching the Ocean!

After a dozen of miles in the fresh morning, our two designers reach San Luis Obispo.

“In just a few miles, we went from a mountainous landscape to coastal scenes! People are wearing shorts and T-shirts, we’ve gone from cold mountains to a lukewarm surfing beach.”

Because of the speed of the 4-way road to Morro Bay (101), they can’t ride together: Alex drives on with the car, Piotr is on the bike. Piotr rides directly towards the beach. They meet a sea lion just before nightfall.

 

Jan. 14: Garage repairs, old-school bikers, and wild animals

Alex and Piotr went on with the repairs, drilling the tubes to add some pins. On the road, they meet a unicycle traveling artist, who tells them his story.

“We had never seen a cross unicycle! The guy’s an itinerant artist on wheels, from Texas. He’s already traveled around the US several times.”

“We entered Mc Kittrick, a small town outside of Bakersfield, where we sympathized with old-school bikers.”

After a bit more road, they realized that the glue issue had spread to the rest of the frame. Luckily, they found a garage and people kind enough to let them use their tools. They glued another pin, and the bike was fixed, and doesn’t need the straps anymore.

“The bike goes smoothly, it’s reassuring to have the pins in. We alternate riding it, and watch the landscape change into green hills. The pastureland on each side of the road are sprinkled with oil wells.”

“All of a sudden, at the top of a small mound, we find ourselves overlooking a huge cloud of fog!”

Sculpteo Bike Project fog

“It’s surrealist… Piotr’s driving the car, I (Alex) am on the bike. He disappears in the mist. All I can see through the opaque white is the pink halo of the sunset. All I can hear are the distant mooing of cows…”

When night comes, they find a ranch to spend the night, the Lazy Arrows ranch. We wake up surrounded by buffalos and deer!

 

Jan. 13: A break in Bakersfield, and repairs

The two designers stopped in Bakersfield to rest, and take advantage of good wifi to send us their beautiful images. For the first time, they encountered an issue with the bike: the tubes of the frame weren’t kept together by the 3D printed parts anymore.

They realized it was an issue with the glue, that didn’t resist the vibrations, not with the 3D printed parts themselves. They used a temporary fix with straps, that would do until they find a more long-term solution.

In the next version, they’re thinking of adding small cavities in the 3D printed part to retain the glue better.

 

Update of Friday, January 13:

Jan. 12: From Barstow, through a wind farm, and to Bakersfield

Alex and Piotr discovered the town of Barstow, talked 3D printing with a guy they were borrowing wifi from, who had never heard of additive manufacturing before, and who’s fascinated by the bike.

“He understood the stakes right away, for example mentioning that CNC would mostly be used for the finishing of parts 3D printed in metal.”

Right after exiting Barstow, they found a cycle lane, crossed a wind farm, braved sinuous roads and the rain, experienced the benefits of the road-gripping tires, and headed to Bakersfield when it started getting dark.

Sculpteo-Bike-Project windfarm

“We were quite surprised to discovere the wind turbines were run by EDF” (French energy company)

 

“The landscape is beautiful because of the large clouds and regular rain showers, which give acid colors to the light.”

 

“We stopped at a carwash: the bike was covered in mud because of the rain and dirt roads.”

“Tomorrow we’re spending the day in Bakersfield, where we should receive new Sculpteo parts, and make some edits to the bike. To be continued!”

 

Jan.11: Route 66 & Changing the wheels thanks to tailor-made 3D printed parts

After sleeping in Ludlow, in a beautiful old-school motel, the guys worked on the pedals (they work great now), and changed the tires for road-gripping tires (the video is in French with English subtitles), to match the poor condition of some of the roads they travel. They had planned a different fork to match those tires dimensions, but they had to cut the crank slightly.

“The advantage is that we know now which dimensions we need, and when we get home, we’ll be able to laser cut it exactly right. After all these edits, the bike fits the road conditions perfectly, and it looks sharp!”

“We then took an old road completely free of traffic that followed the Highway 40. And this road happened to by… the mythical Route 66! We didn’t think we’d take it. We went along accompanied by a gorgeous sunset, and beautiful landscapes. Still the strong wind, but we could rode pretty well until Barstow.

“Then we got a room in the very lovely Route66 Motel! To be continued.”

Sculpteo-Bike-Project-route-66-motel

 

Update of Wednesday, January 11:

Jan. 10: Into the Mojave Desert

On Tuesday 10th, the two designers started crossing the Mojave Desert, first on a simple dirt road, and then, when they arrived at a pipeline road block, on an actual road.

Here’s what they told us:

 

“The bike works super well! It feels great to finally ride it. There was a lot of wind that shook the bike like crazy.

 

“The road is truly beautiful. Huge straight lines on which enormous SUVs go full speed. We cross scattered “ghost villages”, abandoned motels and car scrap yards, but always with a floating American flag.

“The desertic landscape changes surprisingly fast. For example, vegetation easily goes from small bushes to tiny cacti and sorts of little trees. The colors and shapes of the mountains change too.

“When the sun started to go down, we took the highway 40, and did a few kilometers by car to find a motel. This place is mythical: two gas stations in the middle of the desert, a few truck drivers, old taken-apart Chevrolet cars, and an old motel that smells of cold tobacco. Magical. By chance it was open, the gas station gave us the key, we’re the only people to sleep in it.

“Tomorrow we’re heading to Barstow. We’re already thinking of some improvements to the bike’s pedals… We’ll keep you updated.”

 

Jan. 9: Getting some 3D Printed bike parts ready

After a quick preparation of the bike, they could head to the road.

Sculpteo-Bike-Project 3D Printed Bike pedals

Choosing between our different sets of 3D printed bike pedals

 

Jan. 8: Arrival in Las Vegas

They arrived in Las Vegas on Sunday for the last day of CES, after a stop in snowed-up Philadelphia!

 

 

 

What is the Sculpteo Bike Project?

Our Sculpteo Bike Project is not just a 3D Printed Bike: it’s a digitally manufactured bike! It uses both our 3D printing service and our laser cutting service. It is the first fully functional digitally manufactured bike. 70% of its parts are made using 3D printing and laser cutting, and it serves as a proof of concept of what can be easily achieved with our services, and our wide range of materials. We used:

 

To read more about the Sculpteo Bike, read this article or head to our Sculpteo Bike Project Page: in there you’ll see the bike at CES 2017, in the Parisian and Las Vegas streets, and much more.

 

 

A work in constant progress thanks to Digital Manufacturing

At Sculpteo, we see the bike as a work in progress. We started 7 weeks ago, it is functional now, but still unfinished, and will keep being improved. Thanks to the adaptation capabilities that digital manufacturing offers, we intend to improve it as it is used.

 

That’s why we’re sending it on this long trip: we want to put our parts to trial, and to see how they can be improved, how our materials resist to harsh conditions, and, most importantly how we can create new parts, fast, and send them to our designers if they need replacements and repairs along the way.

This way, the laser cut and 3D printed bike, and its trip, serve as an example of our capabilities to adapt, to provide the best solutions, fast, to urgent problems, and to keep your projects going, as our designers keep going on the road.

 

Which itinerary to cross Nevada and California?

Alexandre and Piotr left from Las Vegas. They will:

  • Cross the Mojave National Reserve
  • Head to Bakersfield
  • Then to San Luis Obispo, California
  • Then follow the coast South through Santa Cruz
  • Before reaching San Francisco Bay, and our US factory!

How can I follow the Sculpteo Bike Project on its trip?

Follow our blog and the hashtag #SculpteoBikeProject on Twitter and Facebook. We will be posting regularly about our two designers’ trip, pictures, updates on how the bike is doing, and anecdotes from this digitally manufactured adventure!

Sculpteo-Bike-Project-at-the-airport Piotr Widelka

Piotr Widelka at the airport

 

 

More Sculpteo Bike pictures:

Sculpteo-Bike-Project-rough-road

 

Sculpteo-Bike-Project-Mountain

Follow the trip with the #SculpteoBikeProject !

 

We will be updating this article, and posting regularly on the blog, on our Sculpteo Bike page and on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll find a full album of the trip’s pictures on Facebook. Follow our two designers’ beautiful trip across the US, and how the bike evolves and learns during its adventure.

The Sculpteo Bike Project was unveiled at CES 2017, along with:

 

Learn more about the technologies and techniques behind metal 3D printing, the state of the market and Sculpteo’s new Agile Metal Technology suite for metal 3D printing.

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