Being visible to motorists is a constant concern for cyclists, but we doubt [The Q] will have this problem with his RGB LED illuminated tires made from glue sticks.
The project started with a set of 3D-printed tire molds that bolt to the standard wheels. A bot of melted glue sticks is poured into the mold, allowed to cool, and the mold sections are removed with the help of a heat gun after cooling. We doubt the weight and hardness make the tires particularly practical, but you can’t make normal tires glow from the inside.
The idea to illuminate the tires probably came after molding, because they had to be cut off to fit the LEDs. [The Q] built a simple hot wire jig with a piece of nichrome wire between two screws and used it to cut a few millimeters from the inside of the tire and fit a sleeved RGB LED strip in the wheel. Power come from a set of three 18650 batteries housed with a wireless controller in a 3D printed hub-mounted enclosure.
Like [The Q]’s hubless and partial wheel bicycles, it’s a definite head-turner, with function following form.
Continue reading “Lighting Up Glue Stick Bicycle Tyres With RGB”
To show off its new TPU filament called PRO FLEX, BigRep GmbH posted a video showing a 3D printed bike tire that uses a flexible plastic structure instead of air. The video shows them driving the bike around Berlin.
According to the company, the filament will allow the creation of a large number of industrial objects not readily built with other types of plastic. Their release claims the material has high temperature resistance, low temperature impact resistance, and is highly durable. Applications include gear knobs, door handles, skateboard wheels, and other flexible parts that need to be durable.
The material has a Shore 98 A rating. By way of comparison, a shoe heel is typically about 80 on the same scale and an automobile tire is usually around 70 or so. The hard rubber wheels you find on shopping carts are about the same hardness rating as PRO FLEX.
Obviously, a bicycle tire is going to take a big printer. BigRep is the company that makes the BigRep One which has a large build volume. Even with a wide diameter tip, though, be prepared to wait. One of their case studies is entitled, “Large Architectural Model 3D Printed in Only 11 Days.” Large, in this case, is a 1:50 scale model of a villa. Not tiny, but still.
We’ve looked at other large printers in the past including 3DMonstr, and the Gigimaker. Of course, the latest trend is printers with a practically infinite build volume.
Continue reading “3D Printed Bicycle Tire Not Full Of Hot Air”