Alex Bell wrote in to tell us about a unique bicycle he built using Big Blue Saw.
From Harlem, NYC comes my latest project, the Bellcycle. Growing up in NYC I always wanted to build things like my own bicycle from scratch, but living in an apartment makes that tricky. So last year I started experimenting with making a cycle that someone could assemble in their living room. While I was at it I thought, what the hell lets make it weird. So I made it front wheel pedaled and added some springs and pivots to make the riding experience fun.For version 1 of the bellcycle I used a hacksaw to cut out some aluminum bar and a drill for the holes. But of course this was exhausting, inaccurate and unscalable. After I found out about Big Blue Saw I was hooked. Within a few days of finished a design I would get a package in the mail with all the parts ready to go.
I have found the waterjet parts to be of surprisingly good accuracy and a great basic finish. I suggest that more makers/engineers/designers take a look at building with waterjet cut parts and inexpensive round metal tubing. If you drill and tap a pinch bolt into the side of the part you can create rigid and strong products with just Big Blue Saw waterjet parts, tubing and some bolts. I can imagine the same process would be great for custom furniture, vehicles, etc. I will be releasing design files and guides to building with the waterjet parts on the blog at Bellcycles.com soon, so head over and subscribe.
Alex also posts updates to this project @Bellcycles on Twitter and @bellcycles on Instagram, so you can get the latest updates there as well.
Here's the Bellcycle version 1.2 in action.
Alex is a hardware and software engineer, but this is his first creation using waterjet cut parts. All of the Bellcycle's waterjet cut parts were made from aluminum 6061 in 0.375 inch thickness. Here's a peek at some of the designs. See if you can spot how they're used in the finished bike.
A few closeups of the bike:
To learn to create your own designs with waterjet cut parts, read our articles on designing for waterjet.
Have you built anything with Big Blue Saw that you'd like to share? Let us know!