World’s first hybrid petrol/electric bicycle created using UP Mini 3D printer
David Kriston, a 46-year-old Australian has created world’s first hybrid petrol/electric bicycle using UP Mini 3D printer within small build volume of 120x120x120 mm.
He used a discarded 2-stroke petrol bicycle, repaired it, and made many tweaks along with integrating an electric motor. He spent a good amount of time with his UP Mini 3D printer to make micro-sized generator parts for the new hybrid design.
He removed/replaced almost every part with 3D printed components, except for the internal combustion engine, electronics and the generator core. He used black ABS 1.7 mm filament as construction material. Even the lever arms on the throttle control box, air filter plates, electronic cover panels, engine mount and generator covering are all 3D printed.
He faced many challenges before he could build the final model that delivers a range of 50 km on a single tank. This hybrid bicycle can travel about five times of what a top electric system can deliver at full power.
Kriston found that commuting with such hybrid vehicles features many advantages over regular options. It’s affordable for 80% of the commuters who wish to use such a commuter with little pedaling. According to his calculation, his hybrid commuter cost less than one-fourth the price of public transport.
The maintenance of the hybrid bike is easy as damaged parts can be printed at home.
Commuter can run on fuel, motor, pedal or run with a combo of pedal and motor. The pedaling adds to existing force supplied by the motor, thus, increasing the overall speed. If tired, pedaling can be stopped completely without halting.
In Kriston’s own words, “With this project, it will finally be possible for disabled people and people who cannot ride distances without assistance to use bicycles for touring, and to explore places and parts of our country that are not available to those with un-extended electrical systems.It would be suitable to around 80% of commuters that aren’t strong or fit enough to ride a bicycle a long way. Unlike the European standard bicycles, the full system I developed will actually add it’s power to whatever you put in, so the benefit of pedaling is that you get there quicker and you can take a break whenever you need or want.”
The Western Australian Department of Transport has confirmed this hybrid bike to be street legal after verifying EN119 standards.
Kristen is considering uploading the plan online for others to download for free. After downloading the designs, anyone with a 3D printer can make required parts within few hours.
However, the maker is still worried about the behavior of parts made from ABS in case of heating. To deal with it, he channeled a high volume of airflow through the part to keep the temperature low. He believes invention of stronger material for 3D printing can yield revolutionary results.
Kriston has enough experience in 3D printing for creating night vision equipment and military replacement parts. He has also written a science-fiction novel titled ‘Turning Evovled” that was ranked as the #1 best technology thriller on Amazon in 2013.