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3D printed mountain bikes by Adrian Smith

Concept, Mountain Bike 6 10408

Images from Dirt Magazine and Red Bull Bikes

Bicycle frames constructed with the help of a 3D printer, have been showing up in posts here since 2011. In some cases, frame parts are printed directly…as is the case with these SLS titanium parts for Charge frames. More often though, a 3D printer is used to create molds for composite construction, and that is the case with the mountain bikes that Adrian Smith (aka Carbon Wasp) creates from CAD models in his Yorkshire, UK garage.

In the second video in their “Fettlers series” that looks at the story behind incredible homemade bikes, Redbull Bikes gives us a glimpse into Smith’s process. Once he has printed the molds (on a homebuilt printer) from his CAD files, Smith lays up the frame parts using pre-preg carbon fiber sheets. He then cures the parts in the oven, removes them from the mold, and starts the clean-up and assembly processes.

Homebrew-bikes-and-bitsCurrently, Smith’s website is under construction, but you can find him on Twitter at @carbonwasp. Also be sure to check out his “Homebrew bikes and bits” Facebook group, where you can see interesting shots from his builds like the one shown here.

For more information about Adrian Smith and his homebuilt bikes, check out this post on Pinkbike (where I fists saw it). There is also an interesting feature in Dirt Magazine that covers Smith’s work, as well as other applications of 3D printing in the bike industry and beyond.


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    • James Thomas January 30, 2015 at 9:08 am -  Reply

      That is a great homebuilt bike. Thanks for the link, Adam! The “carbon layup over a styrofoam core” method reminds me of Damon Rinard’s homebuilt carbon frame from the 90’s – .

      Rinard’s technical pages (and Sheldon Brown’s) were an inspiration to me back in the days when there wasn’t much bike content available on the web. Times have definitely changed, but its good to see that people are still experimenting with bike design and construction in their garages.

    • Nick Hamilton February 11, 2015 at 11:11 am -  Reply

      Adam, the other bikes featured in the post (very top and bottom pictures) above are created in a similar method to what you suggest however, they use the rapid prototype as a core rather than shaped foam. This is how all of Adrian’s first bikes were made. However, they surface finish from the process means lots of hand finishing is required to get a good surface. This is why he moved towards the moulding process.

  1. Emilio Marranzino September 9, 2015 at 3:37 am -  Reply

    Hey Adrian, I saw your YouTube video love your inspiration and your work, I think you might like if you do not already know about this product, it’s from “smooth on” it’s called the: smooth on vacuum bagging system it uses a silicone vacuum bag that’s reusable and you are able to spray it on so it takes the exact shape of the part that you need to vacuum bag hope you enjoy it, you can check it out on YouTube by searching smooth on vacuum bagging, sincerely

  2. Hal Bishton January 4, 2017 at 2:53 pm -  Reply

    Hi there Adrian i was just wondering where you get the inserts for the head set and bottom bracket and other parts like that.

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