Printing a scale model bicycle



A few weeks ago I was contacted through 3D hubs by Quinten van Alphen, a student at Industrial Engineering and Management at the Fontys Technical University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. Together with a few other students they worked on a project “De Fietsenfabriek” and needed to print a scale model. I was asked to print and help them during the process of making the 3D model of the bicycle and prepare this model for printing.

Quinten and his BoSteck Bicycle

During the process of creating the BoSteck Bicycle, the name of the concept bicycle, I helped Quinten and Twan Smeets, who was responsible for the CAD model, in translating the original design concept to a concept which was finetuned and ready for 3D printing (FDM).

After a few meetings consulting and giving feedback on the 3D model, Quinten and his team decided to print the scale model in different materials; ColorFabb Translucent Red, Shiny Silver, woodFill and bronzeFill. The scale model consisted of 46 individual parts and took around 30-40 hours to print.

A small selection of the parts using PLA, woodFill and bronzeFill

The print was a challenge, looking at the amount of parts and different materials. The bicycle was scaled down to 30% of its original size, therefore making it one of the largest projects that I took upon through 3D Hubs. The global measurements of the bicycle were around 400x200x75mm.

The finished scale model

Print Details

  • Printer: PrintrBot Metal Simple
  • Resolution: 200 micron (PLA, bronzeFill) & 250 micron (woodFill)
  • Temperature: 200c (PLA, woodFill), 210c (bronzeFill)
  • Heated Bed: yes
  • Surface adhesion: hairspray
  • Brim: yes, some smaller parts
  • Infill: 5-10% for most parts, 20% for smaller parts
  • Material: @ColorFabb Translucent Red PLA, Shiny Silver PLA, woodFill and bronzeFill 1.75mm
  • Slicing software: Simplify3D


Due to the maximum printing dimensions of my PrintrBot Metal Simple, it would not be possible to print some components at once. Therefore a compromise was made by printing out a few components in parts and gluing them together during assembly. This project is a great example how to deal with making larger objects than the maximum printing dimensions of your 3D printer.

Halfway through the print my nozzle jammed due to the quick swap of different “special” filaments. I experienced more jams when using woodFill and bronzeFill based on their characteristics. While woodFill needs relatively more flow while printing (I printed woodFill on 110% flow) bronzeFill tends to be heavier and clogs up the nozzle more easily. Swapping the nozzle for another one quickly got me printing again.

In additional to clogs and nozzle jams, my “recipe” for woodFill is mainly turning off retraction. This adds a lot of stringing, but prevents any clogs or jams of the filament while printing. The strings are fairly easy to remove after the model is finished. Printing on a lower resolution also helps this problem. The woodFill parts for the scale model were printed on a resolution of 250 micron.

All in all this project was challenging in terms of the quantity of parts that needed to be printed. There were a few reruns required for parts there were giving problems or failed such as the small cilinders that connect the wheels with the frame and a few other parts due to the clogged nozzle.

That aside, the project was a nice collaboration with the local community and giving back advice and support on working with 3D printing services. It was both a win/win situation for Quinten and his team and me to gain more experience in working on larger prints and different types of filaments. The students did a great job in delivering the files (ready to print) and assembling the bicycle within a few days time.

If you are interested in some of the other projects or example prints that I have made in the past, check my hub located in Eindhoven.



This has to be the most Dutch 3D printed thing ever! Looks so good!


This is amazing!


Wow I love it, making one right away!


Wow it’s beautiful!


This is so cool!!


Very nice project … Great results


@Arnoldas I think there would be a few of us hubs keen to make a collaborative 3DHubs working bike! Please can this happen!


Haha, this is too good! And we should make it happen! With Ken’s help of course :wink:


Yeah let’s totally do it! Let’s start a new Talk thread about it and see what others think!


Very keen, are there any bicycle designers on the platform?


It’s really beautiful, and the photographs and environment are incredible. I need one!




Sounds like a great initiative, I notified Quinten and his team of this thread and the new one :slight_smile:


Wow amazing to see how this thread developed. I want to thank Ken for his amazing talents and helping us a lot to accomplish this awesome result.

The initiative to print a 1:1 scale bicycle sounds amazing. I will respond to the other thread and later on upload the Solidworks design (which is drawn in real-life measurements) to collaborate our part on this cool initiative.

Once again, thank you Ken for your support. The result is a never to forget one!


the 1:1 scale bike sounds awesome! we’d love to have you guys at our anniversary party so you can show off this super cool project!