Australian bicycle manufacturer Bastion Cycles produces high-performance road bikes that use filament-wound carbon fibre tubes and a modular design for titanium lugs. For the first three years of operation, Bastion outsourced production of the lugs to RAM3D, an additive manufacturing (AM) provider in Tauranga, New Zealand. RAM3D used the AM250 system from global engineering technologies company Renishaw to manufacture the lugs to Bastion’s supplied design. At the end of 2018, as the result of increased sales and demand, the company’s founders decided to bring the AM process in-house.
Ben Schultz (Managing Director), James Woolcock (Engineering Director) and Dean McGeary (Technical Director) met with Mike Brown, General Manager of Renishaw Oceania, to find out about Renishaw’s AM systems. They tested the AM250 and three other machines from other suppliers and found the AM250 produced the best surface finish, material performance and customisation capabilities.
“We chose Renishaw to supply an AM system because of the support it could provide,” says Schultz. “Australia has a fairly small AM market and Renishaw is the only company with a local headquarters with dedicated staff that could get an engineer to our site in a few hours. That is a valuable service for a small business like us.”
The titanium lugs printed on the AM system are unique to Bastion Cycles in their exploitation of very thin walls, outer skins and structural internal lattices, resulting in a part with an extremely high stiffness-to-weight ratio.
“Additive manufacturing is the secret to the customisation and performance of our bikes,” says Schultz. “With the help of Renishaw’s technology, we were the first company in the world to design, develop, test and market a commercially viable, high-performance road bicycle using additive manufacturing, something that we are very proud of.”
Mike Brown, General Manager of Renishaw Oceania adds: “AM technology means we can design and manufacture parts that could not be produced using traditional bike manufacturing methods. By using the AM system, Bastion Cycles is able to design, prototype and produce high-performance titanium lugs for its frames and meet the demand of its customers.”
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