Where do I start with this thing? It has some many elements of awesome! It’s a model of an old-fashion Penny-farthing bicycle that has been brought in to the modern world with the incorporation of 3 cutting-edge technologies:
- It was built, layer-by-layer, using laser sintering (SLS) rapid prototyping. It’s a demonstration project by Italian firm CRP Technology to demonstrate their capabilities.
- It’s made out of WindForm XT, a carbon-fiber reinforced polyimide material that’s usually used to craft high-performance motorsport racing parts.
- It incorporates a planetary gearing system. Penny-Farthings have large front wheels so that they can travel further on one pedal stroke; by using this gearing, the front wheel can be a more-comfortable 20% smaller. Planetary gears are used in some 3-speed bicycles, but their beauty is hidden within the rear hub.
I love the options that rapid prototyping allows the designer – these handlebars are simple, elegant, and formed as a single piece.
The material used was flexible enough to make the seat, suspension spring, and the body all one piece, too. Alas, it’s just a model – just 16 inches long. Here’s hoping that someone builds a rideable version.