Until now, the bicycle industry has often used carbon as a material for high-quality brake levers. However, this material has a poor environmental record. Manufacturers cannot recycle carbon; they must dispose of these parts after their life cycle, usually in waste incineration plants. Titanium has a better environmental footprint compared to carbon and is also far more robust. Manufacturers can make much stiffer brake levers from titanium compared to other materials.
3D printing for custom brake levers and mass production
Manufacturers can use 3D printers to customize brake levers. This applies not only to the design of the titanium components. Manufacturers can also customize the lever forces of the brake to suit the cyclist. "Since 3D printers from TRUMPF are also designed for series production, the bicycle industry can also use them to manufacture large quantities. As a result, components that are subject to heavy stress can be produced cost-effectively," says Christian Lengwenat, application engineer at TRUMPF.
TRUMPF 3D printers also allow companies in the bicycle industry to speed up their prototyping. "With 3D printers, manufacturers can produce different prototypes simultaneously in one printing process. This speeds up the prototyping process, which is important for the bicycle industry, many times over," says Lengwenat. Until now, manufacturers have mostly milled the prototype parts. This is time-consuming and expensive.