3D bike making a difference

The one-off, custom designed FIX3D bike frame created by James Novak.
The one-off, custom designed FIX3D bike frame

A new Australian designed bicycle frame like no other, intended to challenge the traditional model of mass production, has been unveiled in Brussels.

The design and creation of industrial designer, Queensland College of Art lecturer, PhD candidate, and 3D print enthusiast, James Novak, the bicycle has been included in the Making A Difference / A Difference In Making exhibition at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts.

The exhibition, curated by Marta Malé-Alemany, celebrates the 25th anniversary of Materialise, a pioneering Belgian company dedicated to the engineering, development and application of 3D Printing.

James said what he most wanted to achieve, was a design that took full advantage of the benefits of 3D technology, which provided a vision of the very near future.

“More than anything, I’d like my work to be an example of what we should be 3D printing,” he says.

“It opens up the ability to create one-off, customizable pieces that may be lighter-weight and stronger than traditional frames through the use of complex lattice structures.”

James describes his FIX3D bike frame as a one-off, custom-made piece of sports equipment, exceptional in its minimal design and striking absence of material.

“It was designed using lattice structures to make it lighter and stronger than traditional bike frames, and manufactured in one piece using 3D printing,” he explains.

James and his 3D bike
James and his 3D bike on show in Australia before it left for the international exhibition

It was also designed specifically for his individual body proportions, making it a truly custom bike frame with less need for heavy adjustable components like the seat post.

“The bike speaks volumes on the role this technology can play in saving energy and resources in the future of mobility.”

James says he created the first version of his bike for his university Honours project last year, and to now have this revised design on show to an international audience is an opportunity he is absolutely relishing.

“It’s amazing to be featured alongside designers like Iris van Herpen and Patrick Jouin — and to see the incredible response on social media,” he says.

“Within just hours, a photo of the bike featured by Designboom on Facebook, received nearly 6,000 likes and over 1,000 shares!”

The bike is now on show in the Making A Difference / A Difference In Making exhibition at the Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels until 7 June.

James will also be speaking about this project in detail at the upcoming RAPID 3D printing conference in Los Angeles, running fromMay 18-21.

A version of the bike is also on display at the Griffith University visitors centre on the Gold Coast campus.

Follow James and his latest work on his Edditive blog.

The bike was manufactured in its entirety in just one print.
The bike frame was manufactured in its entirety in just one print.