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EADS's Airbike is a 3D-printed nylon bicycle, actually looks rather decent

Richard Lai, @richardlai
March 9, 2011
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We've seen plenty of neat 3D printing products over the last year or so, though none are as impressive as this bicycle in terms of scale. Unveiled by EADS (European Aerospace and Defence Group), the Airbike is "grown" with nylon powder using a process called additive layer manufacturing, which is similar to 3D printing but with the added benefit of laser-sintering to reinforce the structure. This way the parts can save up to 65 percent in weight while retaining the same strength (of steel or aluminum in this case), and apparently Airbus was quick to pick up this technology well before everyone else (hence named Airbike, in its honor). It's all well and good, except EADS does say there's still some way to go before we can print our own custom Harley-Davidson bikes without breaking our banks. Shame -- as with many things in life, we'll just have to wait.

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