Robot Bike Co.
Creating the Ultimate Mountain Bike with SOLIDWORKS and Truform SW Software Solutions
DELIVERED 250,000 SIZE AND STYLE COMBINATIONS IN WEEKS, NOT MONTHSUsing SOLIDWORKS to create parametric models for Robot Bike Co. R130 and R160 mountain bike frames and SOLIDWORKS design configuration capabilities to drive custom configurations, Robot Bike Co. can design, manufacture, and deliver individualized mountain bike frames in roughly eight weeks. Doing the same using traditional design, engineering, and production techniques typically takes six months or more, at subtantially higher cost. “The established mountain bike frame manufacturers with whom we compete typically offer three sizes: small, medium, and large,” Haythornthwaite explains. “With SOLIDWORKS design configurations, we offer 250,000 different size and style combinations, each tailored to an individual’s size requirements and design preferences. Customers enter three key dimensions—height, inside leg length, and arm span—on our website configurator, which drives an equation that selects the specific SOLIDWORKS configuration that fits those dimensions. They can then choose the style and suspension that they want, and even get their name embossed on the frame.”
INTEGRATED TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION IMPROVES PERFORMANCE, REDUCES COSTSRobot Bike Co. also leverages the integrated TruForm SW topology optimization add-in to improve the performance and extend the life of critical bike components. TruForm works in conjunction with SOLIDWORKS Premium FEA capabilities to perform analysis runs until the external shape is optimized for weight, strength, stiffness, or a combination of all three. For example, using this integrated solution on the rocker for the R130, which allows the suspension to travel 130 mm vertically, Robot Bike Co. cut the mass by 27 percent, reduced stress by 50 percent, and improved the torsional stiffness of the part. “The combination of SOLIDWORKS and TruForm enables us to develop the lightest, most efficient parts for our bikes with the optimal stiffness,” Haythornthwaite maintains. “TruForm works so neatly inside SOLIDWORKS, and the tools allow us to ensure such high levels of quality that we offer a lifetime guarantee. This solution has enabled us to design our lugs in such a way that titanium doesn’t reach its fatigue point, validating durability and extending bike frame life indefinitely.”
ONLINE CONFIGURATION AND ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING DRIVE STEADY GROWTHSOLIDWORKS not only drives the Robot Bike Co. online design configuration paradigm, it also supports the company’s use of additive manufacturing technology to make its titanium lugs, a critical requirement for Robot Bike Co.’s lightweight, next-generation mountain bikes. Drawing from co-founder Hawkins’ background in industrial design and additive manufacturing, the company uses titanium powder to 3D print its lugs in shapes that are impossible to machine. The combination of online configuration and additive manufacturing capabilities is helping drive the company’s steady growth. “For us, creating the ultimate mountain bike means making affordable, quality bikes that satisfy a customer’s unique set of requirements using the very best materials in the most efficient manner possible,” Haythornthwaite says. “The automation and cutting-edge manufacturing that we’ve been able to achieve with SOLIDWORKS and TruForm are helping Robot Bike Co. grow at a steady rate because our production costs are going down while everyone else’s are going up.”
Innovate, design, validate, and manufacture next-generation titanium/composite mountain bike frames that are lightweight, durable, and available for configuration by customers online in a variety of sizes, colors, and style options.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Standard design, SOLIDWORKS Premium design and analysis, and Certified SOLIDWORKS Solution Partner GRM Consulting Ltd.’s TruForm SW topology optimization software solutions.
- Delivered custom-engineered mountain bike frames in weeks versus months
- Supported online configuration of 250,000 mountain bike size and style combinations
- Cut rocker mass by 27 percent and stress by 50 percent, while increasing torsional stiffness
- Revolutionized use of titanium additive manufacturing for mountain bike frame lugs
Products(s) Used:SolidWorks Standard