EADS Airbike a 3D-Printed Nylon Bicycle

DailyTech - EADS ALM Process "Grows" Airbike Demonstrator

EADS can use the process to grow any part

EADS is known mostly for its work in the aerospace industry [...] has announced a new breakthrough in manufacturing with a demonstrator product called the Airbike.

The Airbike was constucted from a powder allowing complete and complex sections to be formed out of the powder as one piece. Things like the wheels, bearings, and axle were incorporated within the growing process and built at the same time. The product can also be built to rider specifications and needs no adjustment.

EADS calls the process Additive Layer Manufacturing or ALM. [...]

EADS Global Website EADS Global Website

The revolutionary manufacturing process is known as Additive Layer Manufacturing (or ALM) and it allows single products to be grown from a fine powder of metal (such as titanium, stainless steel or aluminium), nylon or carbon-reinforced plastics from a centre located next to Airbus’ site at Filton. Similar in concept to 3D printing, the bike design is perfected using computer-aided design and then constructed by using a powerful laser-sintering process which adds successive, thin layers of the chosen structural material until a solid, fully-formed bike emerges.

These parts were 'grown' from a nylon powder

Additive layer manufacturing for aerospace parts: News from ES Technology

The ability to produce components in a range of materials including hot-work steels, stainless steel, cobalt chromes and Inconel, plus titanium and aluminium alloys, presents the aerospace industry with large potential for direct part production using ALM.
Component designed by Material Solutions and manufactured on the Concept Laser M3 linear laser ALM system.

ALM has already been used to produce small and medium-sized aerospace components, and having realised the potential of the process, aerospace manufacturers are seeking to produce larger, more complex parts.