For much of 2015, I’ve been working with GPI Prototype & Manufacturing Services, Inc. to optimize lug design for titanium 3D printing. Designs needed to be optimized for shape, amount of material, and build orientation; GPI was very generous with time and expertise in helping come up with the final lug shapes and other designs. They have been excellent to work with and the quality of the titanium prints continues to exceed my expectations. Titanium printing is pricey, and GPI has worked hard to help reduce the cost of a set of parts by approximately 40%, putting Métier Vélo bicycles in the same price bracket as a top-end manufactured bike from Trek or Cannondale.
In addition to bicycle lugs, GPI prints rocket engines, implanted medical devices, among many other cool things. You can learn about GPI in this video (keep an eye out at 36s for a Métier Vélo head tube lug in production).
Here are some of the final lugs after printing and cleanup:
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