Do-It-Yourself Bicycle

Photomontage DIYThe DIY Bicycle is an open source construction kit allowing assembling at home and in a few minutes every possible bicycle geometry. “At home” means: 1) it shall be assembled with commercially available parts 2) it shall be processed with commonly used tools (e.g. drilling, sawing) as well as 3D-printing 3) reversible processes (e.g. screwing) shall be preferred. The construction kit shall be made of: 1) aluminium profiles and reversible connection parts 2) standard bicycle parts 3) parts interfacing standard bicycle parts and aluminium profiles, preferably 3D-Printed.

Status: runs

Personal project, with the help of Collaborative Research Center 1026 “Sustainable Manufacturing”, Cycle en Transition, FAHRbar.

Keywords: bicycle, open design, open source product, modular design, distributed manufacturing, P2P production.

Technical objectives

Bikes frames are generally designed for a specific use and are hardly adjustable once acquired by their users. Bikes can therefore hardly be mutualized between users, and even one user may require several bikes for specific applications (e.g. commuting, transportation of goods, travel, sports). It may be more environmentally friendly to design highly configurable bikes that can be adapted to several usages and users: only one set of materials could be used for multiple applications.

The objective of the project is to develop an universal bicycle construction kit, with the help of which everybody could assemble his own bicycle at home and transform it according to his/her daily needs. The development embraces:

  • choice of aluminium profiles and connection parts;
  • development of flexible bicycle geometries;
  • development of interfaces between the aluminium profiles and the standard bicycle parts;
  • development of corresponding supply chain concepts and business models.

 Scientific objectives

This project is meant to be a test field for further research on open design. See project “Open Design Platform”.

Advantages of the concept in terms of sustainability

  • Close to users’ needs: can be adapted to the measures of each user, offers flexibility in use, provides a high level of customization
  • Lower material flows: “All-in-one”-product (with one construction kit, several possible bicycles), reuse of parts due to minimal use of non-reversible processes, reduced transportation due to compact shipping
  • Open source: continuous improvement of the product, rationalization of product-related information (avoid “reinventing the wheel”), democratized access to design and production activities