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*LIVE* at the Design Museum! 3D Bamboo Bike DAY 1.

James Marr

Published: 9th April 2016

Written by: James Marr

Today we have * LIVE COMMENTARY* from the Design Museum! Experience cycling history as the world’s first 3D printed bamboo bike is constructed live!
Communications from Frank at A Marr + Associates.

We’ll leave it over night for the glue to dry and tomorrow we’ll start adding the components! See you tomorrow to see the full frame!

16:55 – LIVE UPDATE – The final phase of the build:
So that the bike will be strong and the bamboo will connect solidly with the 3D printed lugs the right glue is essential. We’re using ‘Urethane Adhesive from 3M’ to join it all together. This type of glue is used on everything to connect plastic with metals or natural fibres such a shoes and even aeroplanes!

16:01 – LIVE UPDATE – The frame is starting to take shape!

15:51 LIVE UPDATE – The Graphic Design team have played an essential role in creating the literature and the graphics on the stand.
“Our aim for the images, literature and style was to create an explosion of the bike on canvas as an abstract form of information” says Ted from Our Place Studio

LIVE UPDATE – 14:40 – FRAME UPDATE! Halfway through build!
We’ve been working on the frame dimensions and geometry of the hybrid design. This involves determining the length of the bamboo to find the position.


The first bamboo tubes have been connected to the 3D printed lugs!


thumb_IMG_1175_1024LIVE UPDATE – 12:56: Jig set-up for hybrid frame! 
Setting up the jig and preparing the dimensions is one of the most challenging parts of the build.
The lugs are fixed entities and are a big challenge to get right.
According to James “It is like trying to build a bridge where 2 sides have to link with rocks crumbling either sides!”

LIVE UPDATE – 12:40 pm: 3D Printing!

Quick update on the printing. Oxford Brookes University has been researching & testing different composites. They decided to use a ‘Nylon Reinforced Carbon Fibre’ which is used on Formula 1 cars, hopefully tomorrow’s finished bike will share similar qualities to the world’s fastest cars!
Nylon Carbon Reinforced Lugs


LIVE UPDATE – 12:02 pm: We’re about to start making the WORLD’S first ever 3d Printed Bamboo Bicycle!
The 3D printer will start printing a PLA mould to create the bicycle’s lugs.
Kicking off!



LIVE UPDATE – 11:06 am: The final pieces to the jigsaw!
All the bamboo plants have been potted, with the tallest being 176 metres high & 5 years old! We’re just setting up the 3D printer & adding some final parts.
“We’re looking forward to getting started! The ‘urethane glue’ will take about 24 hours to cure. So this is a challenge we’re up for!”
Says James Broughton from Oxford Brookes University
Live at the Design Museum

The stand has been designed by Studio Bark, with graphics and signage by Our Place Studio.
The stand will have 16 bamboo plants at different stages of their growth. They have been kindly provided by Danny Butler Horticulturist.

Bamboo set-up




Event schedule – Design Museum, 28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD


10am: Jig Set Up on Stand
11am: Prepare Front triangle of Bicycle
1pm: Prepare Rear Triangle Of Bicycle
2pm: Access Bikeability tour to take place in 1.5 Gallery.
3pm: Tack and glue frame in place
5pm: Cross Check Alignment and Jig
5.45pm: Close

Museum opens.
10:20am: Remove frame from Jig
11am: Clean up and check
12noon: Fit components
1pm: Fork and Saddle fittings
2pm: Wheels fitting
3pm: Chain alignment and fitting
4pm: Bike riding
The bike will be ridden along the river front. Members of the public will be welcome to have a go.
4.30pm: Breakdown
6.30pm: Breakdown complete