SLM Solutions has reported that its metal Additive Manufacturing technology was used to help develop custom handlebars for France’s cycle team at this year’s Olympic Games in Brazil. Erpro & Sprint partnered with the French Cycling Federation and GIE S2A in the development of custom handlebars for seven athletes who competed at the games. The handlebars were produced on a SLM 280HL metal 3D printer from SLM Solutions and contributed to the French men’s team sprint Bronze medal.
The handlebar designs created by GIE S2A took advantage of the design possibilities Additive Manufacturing offers by incorporating an interior lattice structure, providing strength yet minimising the weight. Additional weight savings were realised through the lightweight material choice, as the handlebars were printed in aluminium on the SLM 280HL system.
The handlebars were victorious in their debut race in Italy earlier this year when French cyclist Thomas Boudat took first place riding with the new equipment. Leading up to the Olympics, athletes were optimistic about the competitive advantage the 3D printed handlebars could bring as the UK’s Olympic gold medallist Sir Bradley Wiggins had broken records riding with 3D printed handle bars just a few months earlier.
With the largest build chamber in its segment at 280x280x350mm, the SLM 280HL offers high throughput technology with multiple laser configurations and a patented bi-directional recoating. Integrated SLM Build Processor and open software architecture offers the freedom of controlling system parameters to optimise for unique requirements, such as Olympic handlebars. Erpro & Sprint became the first French facility to purchase the quad laser SLM 500HL metal Additive Manufacturing system earlier this year to increase their manufacturing capabilities.
A video of the handlebars being developed and built can be seen here http://goo.gl/gDDPV0