Openbike: the open-source bike you can download, print, and assemble yourself
Arquimaña has developed a downloadable wooden bike with a super low carbon footprint.
Since 2017, Spanish design studio Arquimaña has been prototyping designs for OpenBike, an open-source wooden bicycle that can be downloaded (for free) and produced locally. It employs a simple construction made up of widely available materials. As outlined on the company’s website, the user has to find a local fabrication lab (there are more than 2,000 around the globe).
The main body of the bicycle is made from renewable plywood, which is cut using a CNC machine. Meanwhile, the seat, front hub, and hand grips can be 3D printed out of silicone—Arquimaña specifies that it has used additive manufacturing and PLA to manufacture these elements in its design. And as for the wheels, they need to be purchased separately.
Several versions of the Openbike have been developed thus far — beginning with the Rev1 up to the Rev4, with each model having its own specificities. The Rev3 is designed for people of shorter stature, while the Rev4, which is the most advanced version of the OpenBike, incorporates a removable handlebar and a more comfortable saddle seat.
The project is part of Arquimaña’s mission to cut pollution from the manufacturing process, and emissions during transportation. Users could even recycle elements from old bicycles instead of 3D printing new accessories, and because the fabrication files for OpenBike are licensed under Creative Commons 4.0, they can be improved, modified, manufactured, and shared by anyone across the world.
This design takes the sustainability aspect of bicycles to the next level, don’t miss What’s more sustainable than a bicycle? Pardee’s wooden bicycle!
OpenBike isn’t a cheap alternative to traditional bicycles and it’s a little heavier too, but we don’t consider these drawbacks. The point of this project is to create a community of like-minded people that care about the environment. In the Basque country where it is based, studio Arquimaña has even managed to get support from the department of planning, housing, and transport to offer financial support to those who do.
“In increasingly densely populated cities, non-polluting transport is key for good co-existence,” say architects and founders of Arquimaña, Raquel Ares and Iñaki Albistur. “That is why we created Openbike, a project that allows you to build your own bike and be part of a community that seeks better cities for all.”
Cycling is beneficial in so many ways, particularly when it comes to quality of life, check out James Thoem on “Copenhagenizing” cities to aid mobility.