Founded in 2010 by students from Aalto University in Finland, ideas2cycles aims to bring wild and new bicycle design concepts to market as quickly and efficiently as possible. Using 3D printing to speed up their development process, the small company consisting of a single industrial designer and an engineer have found a unique and affordable way of providing the current generation of customization-friendly youth with ‘the wildest bike concepts using the latest rapid manufacturing methods’.
Consisting of ‘everyday cyclists’ Kim-Niklas Antin on the engineering side and J-P Virtanen on the design side, the duo have found success in using SolidWorks and 3D print service voxeljet to produce plastic models for precision casting in a process that requires no use of tools—essentially allowing one-offs of custom ‘sleeves’ for various custom bike designs:
“Our aim is to create new concepts that have an impact not only in the cycling scene, but also in design, engineering, marketing and clean tech. We achieve this by quickly adopting new approaches and trying them out in practice as early as possible.”
In their first few years of business, the team has developed a range of prototypes that have explored the potential applications for rapid manufacturing in bicycle design:
The Drifter is a unique bike designed specifically for drifting on ice and snow.
The Fixer explores the possibilites of manufacturing custom urban single speed bikes.
The mAd Bike
The mAd Bike is a theme bike concept for advertising and corporate brand building.
The Polo Bike
The Polo Bike is a practice in welding a bicycle frame with an unusual geometry.
The racer project explores the possibilities of fiber reinforced polymers and light alloys in unique track/TT bike construction.
Ultimately, the team’s goal is to have a user experience setup that allows a customer to select specific traits of various bike frames that can be assembled into their own custom design. According to lead engineer Kim-Niklas:
“The customer will select certain (traits) of his favorite frames, which are then modeled in CAD precisely to their needs and put through the rapid manufacturing process – done.”