18/06/2013 | 1 comments
Charge bring some space age technology to the bike market…
Earlier in the year we got a brief look at some rather special dropouts which Charge had made from titanium using additive layer manufacturing (ALM), but now they’ve produced this video which shows us a bit more about the process, and the creation of their new cyclocross bike dropout which has an integral disc mount.
ALM has been around for years now in the form of ‘rapid prototyping’, but it is only relatively recently that it has been possible to make parts out of anything other than weak plastic. The ability to now ‘print’ these 3D parts in a variety of metals has opened up a whole new world of possibilities. You can make incredibly complex shapes that could previously never be made, well at least not in one piece. Although this technology is still pretty expensive it is spreading into an increasing range of applications, and Charge have now added bikes to that list. Currently it’s normally only economical to produce small and complex parts, but the costs are only going to come down in future so who knows what we’ll see in years to come. A full bike frame? Maybe not for some time, but there’s no doubting that with this technology a whole load of doors could be opened for bike and component designers. Exciting times are ahead I reckon.