The SOLID bike is now proudly on display in the city that inspired it, and in the office of the software used in the design, our Autodesk Portland office.
SOLID bike: The first connected, 3D printed titanium bike by Ti Cycles
For most of us, buying a bicycle means picking out a stock model that best fits our size and style. But, that comes with trade-offs, since mass-manufactured bikes can’t meet every individual’s needs and wants.
What if we didn’t have to compromise?
What if every bike could be tailor-made for its rider?
Advancements in design and manufacturing processes are making this a real possibility. Just ask Portland-based design firm Industry and bike frame fabricators Ti Cycles, who brought together old and new fabrication methods to create the SOLID bike, the first 3D printed titanium bike with smart technology that helps guide the rider through various routes. The team began by photographing life-size sketches of the bike and importing them into Autodesk Fusion 360 and Autodesk Alias software, where they created 3D models of production-ready parts.
Prototype components were then 3D printed in plastic, before the final bike was manufactured using parts that were 3D printed in titanium and then hand-finished and hand-welded together. This approach not only enabled the team to more quickly iterate on designs and achieve new levels of customization, it also opened the door to exploring new forms, since 3D printing allows for the creation of more complex shapes. Though just a prototype, the SOLID bike project demonstrates how the right design tools and advanced manufacturing methods are redefining how products will be built in the future—a future where one-size-fits-all will be replaced by mass customization.
Photo and story by INDUSTRY
”SOLID is inspired by the diverse beauty and soul of Portland, OR. From the urban energy of East Burnside to the raw landscape of Forest Park, the SOLID bike captures the essence of the city and the best of both worlds; hand-built craft meets modern manufacturing. This one-of-a-kind lifestyle bike was designed to inspire everyday cycling. It inspires people to explore their city with a responsive, seamless, solid ride. This is the bike redefined.
With that in mind, we created the “Discover My City” app that allows riders to discover Portland through 5 curated journeys. Whether riders want to experience Portland’s forested terrain or ride in the city – this digital experience guides riders to enjoy the distinct beauty of Portland. The app communicates with the bike to provide guided haptic navigation and brings together key influencers outside of the cycling industry to share their perspectives on what to see, ride, eat, shop, and hear to truly experience Portland.”