[python] crazy idea?

  • From: Dirk Bonné <dirk.bonne@xxxxxxx>
  • To: python@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2011 12:21:13 +0200

A week ago I came across the reprap project (reprap.org), which is an
"open source" 3D printing machine. Such a printer can print pieces of
plastic, supposedly in any form as long at it is limited in size. I'm
very much tempted making such a machine for my self (as winter project).

One idea I have is to build a bike (e.g. python) using the reprap. The
goal would be to build a trellis-framed python, like my own bike
(pythoon) and some others seen on the project page. I would still use
regular steel tubing with small diameter (8-16mm), but the joints
connecting those tubes would be printed plastic bits that are pressed
inside of the tube. The construction process would look like this:
1 design all the joints connecting the tubes.
2 print them -> results in "inner lugs".
3 cut the metal tubes to the right length (tube cutter).
4 assemble the frame by pressing the plastic joints in the tubes.

=> at this point I would like that the bike is stiff enough to hold itself.

The next phase would strengthen the bike by wrapping uni-directional
carbon fiber around the joints (like using a tape roll wrapping it
around forming a "outer lug":

5 paint the tubes with a primer before wrapping the CF around
6 cut the roll of unidirectional CF in long strands about 1cm width
7 use a brush dipping the CF with epoxy while wrapping it around the
joints firmly connecting the tubes to the joints.

What I hope the advantages would be:
* sharing: possible to share the design between people - anybody with a
3d-printer could produce a bike. It would even be possible to make a
program that given some parameters can produce a custom measurements.
* easier/quicklier: the tubes are just cu wih a plain tube cutter tool.
There is much less measuring and filing involved (making a trellis frame
can really be horrible - especially when brazing where precision means all).
* easier: no need for a jig. The joints would make the frame pre-stiff
enough to easily adjust the frame as a whole using a measuring stick.
* equipement: no welding/brazing equipement needed (ok, you need a 3d
printer....).

Other directions: the same process would be useful for a pure CF-bike or
may be a bamboo-bike...

What is your take on the idea? Is there ny around iwth experience with
3d printing product?. Could it work? Would there be a real advantage?

DirkB

PS: with the reprap I discovered there is a 3D CAD for programmers:
OpenSCAD. For those with the programming ability, it might be
alternative for autocad and the like.
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