Industry case study: rapid prototype of mountain bike frame section

Paul K. Collins*, Robert Leen, Ian Gibson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to detail a virtual and physical prototyping process to overcome a design constraint in the mountain bike industry. Through a series of techniques, 3D scanning, developing detailed CAD models, then through additive manufacturing processes, a solution was developed. The challenge in the industry is the constant geometrical changes of components; the trend has been that bike cranks are becoming narrower due to biomechanical factors and tyres are becoming wider due to rider preferences and increased grip. This change in geometry results in metal tubes that can no longer be deformed without exceeding the minimum bend radius for the material. As such exceeding the minimum bend radius will induce early performance failure and geometrical (aesthetic) defects. The solution is an additive manufactured part that can be substituted into the process without disrupting the entire conventional build process of a customised bike build.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-303
Number of pages9
JournalVirtual and Physical Prototyping
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D printing
  • additive manufacturing
  • cycling
  • product development
  • Prototype


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