Timothy Brand, Laminated Bamboo Bicycle Frame (Student Awards 2017)

This was my Unit 3/4 VCE Product Design and Technology: Wood/Metal School Assessed production task. The design process started with writing a brief for my client who had asked me to design and build a unique timber bicycle frame. The client wanted me to use sustainably sourced timber for the construction. So after researching viable construction techniques and materials, bamboo was selected as the preferred material. The design was developed from sketches which were further refined into computer aided drawings using SketchUp- Make. Several CAD drawn options were presented to the client from which the final design and working drawing were created. The production was carefully planned out and took around 70 hours over 18 weeks to complete. Using 2.5 mm thick strips of bamboo the frame was built in two halves. To obtain stength each layer was cross-laminated and corner joints were lap joined. To gain perfect clamping and a bent form, the laminations were vacuum pressed over a pre-shaped form. All sections were made wider than the final cut profile to allow for error. After laminating the two halves were jigsawed to within 3mm of the final shape and the trimmed to exact using a pre-shaped template and a trimming router. This gave me two perfectly matched frame sides which were then laminated over carefully shaped and measured laminated blocks that formed the housing sections for the seat post, pedal shaft, wheel hubs and front wheel fork shaft. The frame corners were then rounded over using a half round trimming bit. Finally the bike parts were fitted and shaping had to occur gain clearance for the chain and this meant adding another bent laminated section as reinforcement to this section of the frame. Finally the frame was hand sanded to 400 grit and spray finished with several coats of Becker Croma water based clear lacquer. Timothy Brand, Year 12, Haileybury College, Vic. Teacher: Stephen Hughes