Reynolds Technology introduced 3D printed titanium dropouts to their range recently. As the title suggests, these dropouts are made by 3D printing or Additive Manufacturing (AM), rather than by traditional methods such as casting or machining. But how do you 3D print metal – and why would you want to?
Firstly, looking at how it’s done, 3D printing is a process in which layers of material are built up into a 3D shape under computer control. This works for both basic and complex shapes, which brings us on to the next point – why?
3D printing can create structures with far more complexity than a process like casting can produce. This is a major advantage for these dropouts, which have intricate internal features.
3D printed parts also tend to have a high strength-to-weight and a high stiffness-to-weight ratio. The process creates minimal waste, as the shape is built up, rather than being machined from a larger block of material.
But finally, and perhaps most crucially, the process can allow for a customisable design. Reynolds 3D printed titanium dropouts are tailor-made to integrate into the company’s chainstays and seatstays. This indicates that 3D printed parts could well significantly reduce the time and cost for framebuilders, as they are built with such precision that they seamlessly attach to frames.
For more on this or to watch a short video about the process, head to HERE