The London Bike show in February revealed the first 3d-printed bike. Empire bikes in collaboration with Renishaw additive manufacturing was able to completely print and assemble the titanium bike frame making the model significantly lighter and stronger than a comparable aluminum model made from traditional manufacturing processes. The unique structure building capabilities of 3d-printing enabled the designers to utilize topology optimization to strengthen the bike while simultaneously lowering the weight.
Reninshaw is already planning on using Aluminum in future models. Aluminum does not readily absorb the energy from the laser used in the additive manufacturing process of metal, known as Direct Metal Laser Sintering (DMLS) or Selective Metal Sintering (SLS). Therefore a more powerful laser will be required with perhaps a bonding agent that can better absorb the light energy to fuse the metal. Original article can be found here.