A bold new era, indeed.
  • Danger McAction

    Thanks for the article. Great to see a local company (Bastion) producing such beautiful, customisable bikes with innovative technology.

    • James Huang

      You’re welcome. Glad to see this technology finally getting used a bit more :)

  • Arfy

    Male and female connectors are common terminology, but Reynolds takes it to a whole new level!
    I’m guessing that printing times are the main limiting factor for larger structures like tubes, it’s easy enough to upscale a printer but doesn’t make sense if it takes many days to print. As printing times come down in the future it will make things even more interesting. I can only imagine how a company like Bastion could apply a honeycomb structure to the full bike design to minimise the tube diameters while also customising tube shapes. Not to mention how the technology could also be applied to wheels, for instance, or to an integrated bar and stem customised to an individual fit.

    • Bastion Cycles

      Hi Arfy. You can see a peak of our lattice structure in the end of the dropout in this picture. At the moment as you say, print time is a major factor. We are big believers in using the right material and technology in the right place. I am not sure 3D printing will ever be a better option for tube sections, but we are always researching. Integrated stem and bars is a definite option, but we are still making sure there is a definable benefit to the customer that adds real value.

  • dcaspira

    Fan of this technology, one comment… like Ti frames and our attention to weld beads, it would be a shame to completely hide the Ti printing contours.

  • velocite

    Fascinating. I liked the Bastion story, plus it looked beautiful. But the sense of these bikes is surely based on the value of a custom frame, and to me I don’t believe there is any. My experience is that near enough is good enough with bike fit – except for seat height, of course.

    • Bastion Cycles

      Thank you for your comments.

      Most people can be fitted to an existing bike, but it usually comes at the expense of something else.

      For example, aesthetics by using spacers, steering feel through different stem lengths, or needing to ride an endurance geometry frame to get a taller head tube but which comes with slacker head tube angles and subsequent effects on handling.

      Our design tool shows all these effects live and lets you decide how best to tune not only your fit, but the handling and stiffness of your bike.

      It is not for everyone, but for those who can afford it, it is an amazing experience that makes riding their bike all the more enjoyable. Knowing every aspect of it personally and having had ownership over the decisions.

  • Peter

    OK these printed parts look good, but can you tell me how they compare in strength to forged parts?

    I’ve seen printed plastic parts and I assume the process for metal is similar: sort of like melting drops of Ti or Fe and then adding them sequentially to the layer below drop by little drop.

    Does the printing process end up as a sort of designed and shaped weld in that the metal has had to be be melted and dropped into place?

    I know a bicycle doesn’t have to withstand the same forces as a motorbike or car, but, I would want to be assured that a printed part is at least as strong as a forged part and that I won’t suddenly find my self on the ground because my printed bottom bracket turned to dust as I applied the power up a climb.

    • James Huang

      I’ve asked several people this same question (both within the industry and otherwise). The general consensus is that for a *good* 3D-printed part, the resultant strength is about equivalent to a 2D-forged part.

      That said, no one has yet shown me a polished cutaway under a scope so I can see the grain structure and lack of voids for myself.

      • Peter

        What percentage of printed parts would be considered *good* I wonder? And do they follow any industry standards for testing quality assurance for each part produced?

        Either way, exciting stuff.

        • James Huang

          That I unfortunately don’t know – but I can certainly ask.

        • Bastion Cycles

          Mostly covered this in my other reply, but rejects are very low once the setup and parameters are dialled in. But this can take considerable time and money. There are no tooling costs, but there is still significant development required.

      • Bastion Cycles

        I will have to hook you up James!

    • Bastion Cycles

      Hi Peter, thanks for your comment and you are right to be concerned.

      One key strength of 3D printed Ti over forged is purity. There are essentially inclusions and unwanted elements. Which for a very high tensile strength material like Ti is important for fatigue properties.

      The weakness is the lack of a grain structure. Each layer of powder is melted in a stochastic pattern to minimise distortion so there is no grain. However there is a difference in strength based on the orientation used in the build and how the forces align to the print direction.

      It is a manufacturing process like any other with unique considerations for manufacturability, strength, and durability. We have spent over a year simulating, prototyping, and testing.

      Regarding quality control in our case for every build a standard test piece is also printed and then the tensile strength is checked after heat treat. If it is not within tolerance the build is scrapped.

      We are also conducting ASTM and ISO tests on the frameset to ensure safety and performance. You can see video of some of the impact tests on our social media pages.

      We expect people to be cautious and as a team of engineers we have developed it to a point where we ourselves are confident to bomb descents at 50mph or hit unseen potholes without freaking out. No better test of an engineers work than to make him test it! It is something we do religiously!

      • Peter

        Thanks for the reply. Good to hear you’re taking QA seriously. Good luck.

      • singlespeedscott

        I just cant see how a 3D print part, essentially built like a dribble sandcastle, could possible approach the strength of one formed by forging. In my mind I can see it being very prone to fracturing. Especially in a high stress area such as the rear dropouts which are subjected to a lot of flex.

        • Bastion Cycles

          I actually had never heard of a dribble sandcastle so I watched some videos. Titanium printing is definitely nothing like that. I’d encourage you to watch some videos of metal being printed. It is very different to plastic printing. There are numerous technologies. The one we use is called Selective Laser Melting (SLM). Check it out. You may change your mind…

          • singlespeedscott

            Thanks for the heads up. Very interesting. I can understand the potential, although from my limited googling it still sounds like it isn’t as strong as forging.

  • Connor

    Really interesting and exciting. And even if the back story and innovation wasn’t cool I’d STILL have to say “man, that’s a sexy bike”. This is not a bad thing. At all.

    • Bastion Cycles

      Not sure if you mean our bike or not, but we hear “sexy” a lot. Pretty cool. Thanks!

  • Great use of tech, but that aside i think the Bastion is one beautiful looking bike.

    • Bastion Cycles

      Thank you! It is so amazing to get such great feedback. In the end the technology is just a tool. Our real goal was to develop something beautiful that rides amazingly and would make customers smile!

  • Cameron Harris

    Kudos to Bastion to take the time and discuss the product and the process.

    • Abdu

      Was thinking exactly the same.

      Build a quality product, then they do this too.

      #101 in placing your brand above all the rest.

      • Bastion Cycles

        Thanks guys! We love talking about it. It is great that our product gets people thinking and talking.


Pin It on Pinterest

October 27, 2016
October 26, 2016
October 25, 2016
October 24, 2016