EADS ‘grows’ a bike out of nylon

The theory with this new process is that it will radically change the manufacturing process. It certainly sounds interesting but as a non-engineer, it’s not possible to tell if it’s hype or reality. Do the engineers out there agree with the comments that it’s a radical new idea?

Made from nylon, the Airbike technology demonstrator was assembled using Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM) at a centre located next to Airbus’s site at Filton.

The process allows complete sections to be built as one piece; the wheels, bearings and axle being incorporated within the ‘growing’ process and built at the same time.

Similar in concept to 3D printing, the bike design is perfected using computer-aided design and then constructed using a laser-sintering process that adds successive, thin layers of the chosen structural material until a solid, fully formed bike emerges.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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