You can download, print, and ride on this sleek wooden bike

In the event you may construct your individual bicycle, would that make you extra desperate to skip the automobile and cycle round your metropolis?

A design studio known as Arquimaña, based mostly within the Basque Nation in northern Spain, is betting on it. For the previous 4 years, they’ve been working on an open source design for a wooden bicycle—known as OpenBike—that can be downloaded totally free. Their purpose was to design probably the most sustainable bicycle on the market and make it attainable for anybody to assemble it from scratch. 

[Photo: courtesy Arquimaña]

Raquel Ares and Iñaki Albistur, founders of the studio Arquimaña, present prototyping and digital manufacturing companies to different designers and creators. In 2017, they got here up with the idea of OpenBike, after observing that in Basque Nation, very like different locations, the streets had been clogged with extremely polluting vehicles. They needed to develop an eco-friendly bicycle that individuals may get enthusiastic about constructing themselves and obtained monetary help from the division of planning, housing, and transport of the Basque authorities to take action.

[Photo: courtesy Arquimaña]

Bicycles are inherently much less polluting than vehicles as a result of they don’t generate greenhouse fuel emissions. However Ares and Albistur needed to chop air pollution from the manufacturing course of, too. First, the consumer finds a fabrication lab close to them utilizing this website. (There are greater than 2,000 across the globe.) The primary physique of the bicycle is produced from plywood, a renewable useful resource, which the lab cuts out utilizing particular equipment. The seat, entrance hub, and hand grips can be 3D printed out of silicone, and even higher, recycled from previous bicycles. The wheels must be bought individually. And because the consumer can construct the bicycle in a digital fabrication lab in their very own metropolis, there aren’t any emissions from transporting the completed bicycle to the consumer. “We had been targeted on small-scale, native manufacturing,” says Albistur.


[Photo: courtesy Arquimaña]

Albistur notes that the OpenBike isn’t essentially cheaper to make than different bicycles on the market. Shopping for the plywood and different elements will value round $500. And this wooden bike is barely heavier than a number of the lightest options on the market. However Albistur says the studio’s purpose wasn’t to take advantage of high-tech bike on the market; it was to create a group of individuals. He describes the OpenBike as a manifesto on sustainable urbanism, distributed manufacturing, the accountable use of sources, and shared data. In different phrases, by creating one in all these bikes, an individual is making an announcement about their values round sustainability and inviting others to affix within the mission. 

This 12 months, Arquimaña launched the finalized design. And the bicycle is presently on show contained in the Spanish Pavilion on the Venice Structure Biennale and the Seoul Biennale of Structure and Urbanism. To date, seven bicycles have been fabricated utilizing this design, along with the founders’ personal bikes, which they use to ride round Basque Nation. A gaggle of makers in Seoul managed to construct a functioning OpenBike in two days. “It was actually wonderful to see our imaginative and prescient come to life,” says Albistur. “Folks anyplace on the planet can now obtain the design and make their very own OpenBike.”