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StudioWest + Arevo
3D printing is one thing; printing carbon fiber is another. Printing continuous-fiber carbon fiber meshes that give you all the structure and dynamic performance of unidirectional layup - that's never been possible.
When Arevo wanted to create some vehicles using exactly this process, they called StudioWest.
We thought we knew 3D printing, but we didn't realize just how different and how far advanced the Arevo technology is from any other additive manufacturing process in the world. This multi-axis continuous fiber construction offers the structural integrity of unidirectional layup, with the ability to customize dynamic performance on a per-print basis.
StudioWest set about designing bikes that would leverage all the benefits of this new process,
creating visually unique frames that would showcase the technology's specific performance characteristics.
2D concepts into 3D CAD
StudioWest uses state-of-the-art automotive surfacing software (Alias Studio) to sculpt carbon forms from our digital sketches. The resultant 3D geometry was ready for transfer to Arevo's engineering teams for analysis and fiber orientation.
Once the fiber networks were calculated and the parts virtually tested using Finite Element Analysis (FEA),
the parts came to life from a multi-axis robotic print head.
The first proof-of-concept models were taken to the streets of Santa Clara in early 2018.
Designs evolved as the process became more streamlined with every print. Significant enhancements to the capabilities of the robotic print head enabled more dramatic forms than were possible with the original design.
First public appearance - Sea Otter 2018
By the Sea Otter Classic trade event in April 2018, Arevo had a prototype available for a few select brands to demo.
A new paradigm
Creating bikes the traditional way involves months of speculation. Qualities like dynamic performance and "feel" are speculative on the part of designers and engineers who, while pretty good at that sort of thing are still making educated guesses throughout development. The team theorizes and ideates until the bean counters put their foot down and it's time to commit.
Pencils are dropped and six-figure checks are cut to toolmakers around the world and then everyone waits for a few months until the first parts come trickling in. Hopefully you like what you've got, because there's a ton of expensive steel that says your final shape is just that - final.
The Arevo process has the potential to change everything. With printing, designs can be continuously optimized and improved without the need to commit thousands of dollars and months for tooling for one speculative form. Each iteration can be different than the last. Frames can be optimized for weight, ride quality, or dynamic performance on a per-frame basis, or 1000 of the exact same model can be printed as needed, with robotic consistency unmatched by hand labor.
This technology won't be limited to bikes - this fully functioning electric scooter was designed, engineered, printed, and assembled in a fraction of the time such would have taken by any other means.
While StudioWest is busy working on multiple new projects with Arevo, we continue to design frames, components, and accessories in more traditional means for brands you know and love...
Yeti, Factor, Niner, Cannondale, LeMond, Marin, Electra, and dozens more.
To learn more about StudioWest cycling design, click here - and give us a call. Let's talk bikes.
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