De Fietsfabriek is an Amsterdam based bicycle manufacturer founded by Yalcin Chichangir & Dave Deutsch. The company has its own factory in Turkey and the bicycles are assembled in Amsterdam. The Fietsfabriek first became popular with hip and useful versions of the Dutch Bakfiets. A bakfiets is basically a heavy duty bike with a large container attached to the front of it. Bak=container, fiets=bike. In the olden days people used to use them to transport and deliver almost anything in the Netherlands but the bakfiets had long since been replaced by cars, that is until the Fietsfabriek brought them back.
Above you can see a camo color bakfiets.
I spoke with co-founder Dave Deutsch about the Fietsfabriek & personalizing bicycles. The company does not see other bicycle manufacturers as their competition, their bikes are meant to compete with cars. Indeed Dave has many examples of people getting rid of a second car after buying a bakfiets. People use the bicycles to do shopping & go to the zoo with their kids in the bak. The bikes are sturdy and you can fit a lot into them. Their customers are mainly to be found under the ecologically conscious and trendy people in major cities. They currently have ten stores in the Netherlands as well as franchise stores in Chicago & Berlin.
The Fietsfabriek got into bicycle customization & personalization because they wanted to help protect their customers from theft. A bakfiets can cost 1500 Euro's. The Fietsfabriek had an innovative idea: we make all our own bikes anyway so how about we let people put their names on them? That way there is less of a chance that someone will steal the bikes.
Later on people requested more colors and companies started to make bikes in their colors and with their logos on them. You can also have a hand painted bike or your very own unique configuration. Customization can start for 95 Euro's. For that money you can get a laser cut & powder coated plate mounted on the bike with your name in it. Some people are building bikes to their very own precise specifications & size. Soon you could actually visit the Fietsfabriek's factory in Turkey and be there for the initial fabrication of your bike. I think that the Fietsfabriek is a great company. It is rare to see a business start out nowadays that does all of its own production. Their products are very high quality and I love the fact that customization to them is a means to an end. Their bikes are above all else practical and filled with good useful design.
Above is a hand painted small bakfiets.
This type of bike is very trendy in the Netherlands at the moment. The plastic crate on the front is an easy place to store your stuff. On the back there is a comfortable cushion for people hitching a ride on your bike. These kinds of utilitarian considerations happen if you actually use a bike as a mode of transport.
Lets say you have twins?
This bakfiets has been specially made to transport people in a wheelchair.
You guys might have seen all the press we have been getting about the Stainless Steel printing. We had a Crunchgear article, a FastCompany one, a Wired one and lots more besides. That coupled with the many many many people we met at SIGGRAPH means that it is quite busy right now on the site with people who are new to Shapeways. It would be great if you guys were kind to all the noobs and helped them out should they have any questions. I mean noobs in a nice way.
The Stainless Steel material has been added to all models on the site, so you can now check the prices of your models in Steel. The price per cubic centimeter is $10(including shipping of course). We can not currently guarantee that all the models that you order will print. Since the process is new we have not been able to develop completely 'watertight' software filters to check this. We do know that for the model to succeed a wall thickness of 3mm is required.
To clear up: the models that we ship to you, that you can now make are stainless steel and bronze through and through. There is no cast, it is not a covering or layer over a plastic model, the entire thing is steel and bronze and it is built like that.
We've been getting a lot of questions from engineers about the material properties of our 3D printed Stainless Steel. So here are the answers:
The UTS (Ultimate Tensile Strength) is 99 KSI / 682 MPa.
If you compare this with other materials the tensile strength of our Stainless Steel material is: higher than aluminum, higher than structural steel(as in the steel used in buildings in the US), much higher than cast iron but lower than titanium and regular stainless steel.
The yield: 66 KSI (455 MPa)
The modulus(Poisson Factor/material constant): 21.4 MPSI (147 GPa)
Hardness: 25 HRc
As far as post processing the 3D prints are concerned you can weld it, machine it and drill it. If you do want to drill it, we'd advise you to use carbide drill bits.
As you can see, apart from being awesome and fun to use for rings, jewels and lovely interior decoration items these values give our Stainless Steel material quite some other uses. People have already tested this for turbine parts so something like that would be completely boring. But, perhaps the strength could inspire you to make something interesting?