Shapeways Community member Bscans(aka Peter
van Lievenoogen), makes computers for electric bikes in his spare time. So what is an electric bike?
V-Fiets, makes conversion kits to turn your bicycle into an electric bike. For 439 Euro’s you can turn any regular bike into an electric bike that goes 25 KM per hour. It costs 18 cents to recharge the battery and you can travel for 40-60KM with that one charge. You can also alternate between cycling yourself and the electric motor.
This is how the conversion process works, Peter has developed a bicycle computer for these kinds of bikes. The computer keeps track of battery usage, the distance you can travel with the battery, the temperature etc. He used Shapeways to make a prototype of his electric bike computer and will use that to cast the final versions in.
Peter built and programmed the entire thing from the ground up. He still has to make the PCB and then a final production version. His story got us really excited because we want to do a lot more with mechanical parts, housings and home built things that go to final production products.
He is also working on an awesome OLED screen for his EBC. Check out the video of it below.
I think the implications of this are gigantic. Someone can now, in the comfort of his own home create technology that does not exist yet. You can compete with Sony. For most things scale will make their products cheaper but for certain niches you can compete, right now. Today. Hopefully in due time services like Shapeways will be able to bring scale to your doorstep, to your living room.