William May-White

Degree: BEng Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

Project title: Applying contemporary design and manufacturing processes to the Mountain bike industry.

Project Overview

This project is a feasibility study of the application of generative design and additive manufacturing in the development and manufacture of a mountain bike. This was done by developing the swingarm and link arm of the rear suspension linkage system using generative design and constrained by additive manufacturing. A continuous carbon fibre 3D printer and required material were chosen due to it having similar properties to the prepreg carbon fibre, which is used in the manufacturing of these components. 


The outcome of the generative design was chosen based upon the lowest mass of the component. Finite element analysis was carried out on the generative design components and compared to the results of their original counterparts. The link arm outperformed the original component in almost all measured value with a fifty-six per cent mass reduction. The swingarm was substandard on almost all values with additional mass. Due to this being the first development stage, there is room for improvement once the geometry changes for brake mount and bearing inserts are accounted in the next phase. The print time and cost of the generative design components if manufactured, were found to be reasonable when compared to a similar additive manufacturing processes for a bike company. 


However, after the understanding the load paths and stress concentrations, it was found that a hybrid approach of additive manufacturing lugs and pre-made carbon fibre tubes would be the most feasible option if additive manufacturing was to be used across the bike industry. 


Generative designs is a game-changer in the world of design; it levels the playing field, and now small companies can compete with the big bike companies.


Why did you choose this course?

To further my knowledge and progress through my industry

Why did you choose to attend UWTSD?

Recommended by Ford Motor Company

What are your future plans?

Progress into mechanical design

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