Arevo Inc., a start-up company supported by the venture capital, has been researching the production of a carbon-fiber-frame bike made in 3D first time in the world.
Traditional carbon fiber bundles are expensive because of the complex manufacturing process. Carbon fiber is usually made of a substance called Polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and the PAN is cooked at very high temperatures, burning off all non carbonaceous materials leaving a wide range of long and thin carbon fibers.
If you will place the individual carbon fiber layers impregnated in the plastic mould of the assembled chassis manually, the chassis is then placed in the furnace to melt the plastics and blend the carbon fiber sheets together.
At the same time, Arevo uses a completely new technology called Depositon Head, which prints out the three-dimensional shape of the bicycle frame and melts carbon fiber on the chassis in one go.
This process is virtually unmanageable, with only design software, print technology and a large scale production facility can make it manageable that can produce a wide range of components, not just chassis.
In addition to the US Central Intelligence Agency’s venture capital, Arevo has raised $ 12.5 million in funding from Japan’s Asahi Glass, Sumitomo Corp and Leslie Ventures.
In the past, the company has raised $ 7 million from Khosla Ventures and an undisclosed sum from In-Q-Tel, a venture capital fund sponsored by the CIA.
The person behind the project is Jim Miller, a technology engineer who has developed data centers for Google and Amazon. “We are negotiating with a number of bicycle manufacturers to deliver the technology, Both are aimed at providing aerospace parts because Arevo print heads are capable of printing larger parts such as the body and the wing” according to him.