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Casting is one of many manufacturing methods used by the innovate bicycle design team.


carbides. Ductility is also greatly reduced, which means we need defect-free castings so they do not fracture under the load.” Outside of a small grant from the Aalto Center for Entrepreneur- ship when ideas2cycles began, the project is largely self-funded, with Antin dedicating both his free time and money to his pet project. But the yearly investment of $1,000-$2,000 a year is well worth it. “It’s beneficial to my career,” he


Kim-Niklas Antin is currently working with 3-D-printed sand molds to cast lugs in an aluminum-silicon alloy.


just 13.1 oz. (370 g). Te frame weighed just 2.2 lbs. (1 kg), before attaching wheels, cranks, handlebars, etc. Te prototype, known as the Fixer-Stage 1, led to ideas2cycles winning the “Bits into Atoms” design contest organized by the Finnish Rapid Prototyping Association in April 2012.


In the last three years, the ideas-


2cycles team has developed two more versions of the Fixer. Te second stage featured a metal-free frame, while the third iteration, still in development, will include aluminum-silicon carbide composite lugs cast in 3-D-printed sand molds. Te design of the new components took nearly six months


30 | MODERN CASTING April 2015


to improve stiffness-to-weight ratios, overall performance and appearance. “We calculated which elements of the meshed volume contributed the most to carrying load and which did not,” he said. “Te most unneces- sary elements were removed and the calculation was repeated, so only the structurally crucial volume of mate- rial remained. Tis meant even stress distribution.”


Te aluminum alloy improved


performance compared to the earlier magnesium castings. “We are using the SiC particles


to increase the stiffness of alumi- num alloy,” Antin said. “We achieve 96 GPa versus 65 GPa without the


said. “I’m focusing on nondestruc- tive testing methods in carbon fiber composites for my PhD, so it has benefited me in my working life. It’s also something I love to do.” Antin is used to hearing if ideas-


2cycles, currently a non-profit orga- nization, will ever become a business, which doesn’t seem likely. Te pro- totypes, usually one-offs produced in advanced materials via cutting-edge processes, would require astronomi- cal prices. Additionally, any potential customers would demand quality and performance standards that are difficult to achieve in unconventional prototypes. “One option could be to design


bicycles internationally and work with a bicycle company,” Antin said. “I’d also like to land a job with a bicycle company after graduation, rather than start a small company of my own.”


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