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TRUMPF and Elementum 3D Additive Manufacturing Process with Intense M1 – The Hub – Mountain Bike Forums / Message Boards

I just received this email. interesting technology with a “tricky” name in this day and age 🙂

TRUMPF and Elementum 3D solve INTENSE Cycles’ redesign challenge

Reinterpretation and improvement of the legendary INTENSE M1 downhill bikes Additive manufacturing was required to create its new center section “Backbone” bottom bracket/suspension foundation

Erie, Colorado; Farmington, CT; and Temecula, CaliforniaElementum 3Da leading developer and supplier of advanced materials, printing parameters and services for metal additive manufacturing (AM), is pleased to announce its collaboration with us TRUMPF Inc.Its A6061-RAM2 alloy enabled a redesigned, additively manufactured “backbone” for INTENSE cycles’ Revision of his legendary M1 downhill racing bike. The competition between mountain bike manufacturers is just as extreme as it is among themselves Professional downhill riders race to be the first to get down the track. The bicycle industry is increasingly exploring the use of additive manufacturing (AM), or metal 3D printing, to prototype and print breakthrough production parts.

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INTENSE M1 A6061-RAM2 printed backbones with brackets.

INTENSE has been a leader in the bicycle and downhill bike industries for three decades, producing high-quality carbon fiber and aluminum bicycles that are proven on the track and sought after by riders at all levels of the sport. The company’s desire to constantly improve its products and help its team compete in the most elite races has led to the introduction of additive manufacturing technology.

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Post-processed INTENSE M1 A6061-RAM2 printed backbones.

INTENSE Founder and CEO Jeff Steber is a designer, artist and craftsman with a practical approach. He is excited about integrating AM into bicycle frame and parts production. “I work and ‘think’ in aluminum, so AM opens up a new world of creative possibilities for me and my team,” he said. “We say INTENSE combines art and engineering, and I am no longer limited to sheets and tubes. I have the freedom to create almost any shape I want.”

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An INTENSE M1 prototype on display at TRUMPF’s Formnext 2023 booth.

To redesign the M1 downhill bike, a model that has kept other riders and their sponsors off the podium since the mid-1990s, Steber’s team planned to design and produce the M1’s backbone from a single piece of 6061 aluminum. The part and material are crucial in optimizing the suspension performance of the bike. The innovative new design features internal ribs to make it stronger and lighter; However, this made it impossible to manufacture using traditional machining techniques.

This naturally led the INTENSE production team to AM. They have partnered with TRUMPF, which offers a wide range of manufacturing solutions including 3D printer. The deciding factors for INTENSE were TRUMPF’s experience in printing bicycle parts and the fact that the company could print parts from weldable 6061 aluminum – Elementum 3Ds A6061-RAM2 – the same alloy that INTENSE already used for its aluminum frames.

The initial backbone designs were not ideal for printing, so TRUMPF advised INTENSE engineers to remove low-angle overhangs to improve printability. TRUMPF’s updated TruTops Print build processor increased the printability of the subskin from 45° to 25°, so the backbone was printed with much less overhang supporting material, reducing the risk of errors, material consumption and post-processing effort.

TRUMPF contacted Elementum 3D to supply its A6061-RAM2 raw material. Delivery and the determination of technical details were quicker than expected, allowing TRUMPF to immediately confirm that the powder worked well with the existing infrastructure. It convinced that INTENSE A6061-RAM2 is well suited for in-house prototyping of bicycle frames because it can be easily welded and heat treated with other frame parts, including thin-walled tubes.

Christian Lengwenat, TRUMPF application engineer for metal 3D printing, was pleased with Elementum 3D’s involvement and stated: “Elementum 3D is professional and responsive.” It is reassuring to work with a reliable, friendly group. Their advanced material properties and surface finish exceeded our expectations and we plan to use more Elementum 3D powders in our machines.”

From the initial test setup, INTENSE estimated the weldability of A6061-RAM2 and found that the weldability was exactly the same as billet-machined 6061, with no porosity or contamination issues. TRUMPF liked the predictable processability, which enabled the development of a working printing parameter in two weeks and required the printing of only two DOEs (test plans) to achieve the expected relative density value of the material.

Both companies considered A6061-RAM2 to be ideal for this project, especially given the surface finish and accuracy of the printed parts. Once the backbone was welded to the frame, it was nearly impossible to determine which parts were printed, machined, or forged.

Steber noted: “I am grateful for the great work that TRUMPF and Elementum 3D have done. Their guidance and expertise played a critical role in the successful production of our new M1. I’m happy to announce that the M1 took 2nd place in the race UCI Cycling World Championships 2023.”

Based on this project and the performance of the motorcycle, INTENSE is increasing M1 production for consumers and plans to integrate AM into future prototyping projects and other production parts.

About INTENSE Cycles

INTENSE is a leading manufacturer and developer of high-quality full-suspension mountain bikes. The company’s history is characterized by passion, innovation and creativity. In the early 1990s, a young thrill-seeker from Ohio decided to travel west to pursue his California dream. That person was INTENSE’s founder and CEO Jeff Steber, a designer, artist and craftsman with a practical approach and a drive to make things better. INTENSE mountain bikes were founded in Lake Elsinore, California in 1993 and are based on more than 30 years of racing experience. They are designed to inspire confident driving with striking designs. Early on, Jeff was forming and welding aluminum frames in his garage, creating bikes that rocked the cycling world. Legendary M1 and racing success would soon follow and the rest, as they say, is history. Experience the INTENSE difference, from World Cup downhill racing to your first trail ride.

About Trumpf Inc.

TRUMPF Inc. is the North American subsidiary of TRUMPF SE + Co. KG, based near Stuttgart, Germany. The TRUMPF Group is a leading global provider of sheet metal processing machines and industrial lasers. TRUMPF’s North American headquarters is located in Farmington, CT. “Trust in bold ideas” – that is our promise to everyone who works for us. As a family business, we make long-term decisions and give our employees the trust and stability they need to put their ideas, even unconventional ones, into practice. As the market and technology leader in machine tools and lasers, we are boldly shaping the networked manufacturing of tomorrow and meeting every challenge with courageous, fresh thinking.

About Elementum 3D, Inc.
Elementum 3D specializes in material and process development and the manufacture of advanced metal alloys and metal-ceramic composites. Elementum 3D has developed and patented its Reactive Additive Manufacturing (RAM) material technology, enabling high-performance material printing that was previously not possible. The company has several novel starting powders with printing parameters available for purchase and excels in developing custom materials tailored to specific applications. Elementum3D provides the material freedom to support companies around the world in their quest to increase the strength, durability and performance of their products while reducing weight and cost. Find and follow Elementum 3D on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedInAnd Youtube.

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