Arevo’s 3D printed bike frame and its $12.5M funding round
“If you are passionate about your work, time will just fly by”. Jim Miller is the kind of man who perfectly illustrates this saying. Between a career at Google and Amazon, he has now turned his hobby (riding a bike) into a company, Arevo, which manufactures partially 3D printed bikes frames.
Arevo is supported by the Central Intelligence Agency. The company recently secured $12.5 million in funding from a division of Japan’s Asahi Glass Co Ltd and Leslie Ventures. It had already raised $7 million from Khosla Ventures and an undisclosed sum from In-Q-Tel, the venture capital fund backed by the CIA.
Arevo manufactures a carbon fiber bicycle with 3D printed frame. The start-up wants to show the world its design software and 3D technology. Its goal is to enable industries to produce parts of bicycles, aircraft, space vehicles as well as other applications that require the strength anf lightness of carbon fiber.
As for the company’s technology, it involves the use of a “deposition head” fixed on arm in order to 3D print the bike’s frame. “The head lays down strands of carbon fiber and melts a thermoplastic material to bind the strands, all in one step.”
According to the company, the manufacturing does not require any human labour and people can purchase their own bike frames for $300 in costs. “We’re right in line with what it costs to build a bicycle frame in Asia,” Miller said. “Because the labor costs are so much lower, we can re-shore the manufacturing of composites.” “We can print as big as you want – the fuselage of an aircraft, the wing of an aircraft,” Miller said.
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