CML AT, founded in 2015 in Saint-Petersburg, Russia, specializes in the implementation
of additive technologies in mechanical engineering, civil aviation, medical, instrumentation,
robotics, oil and gas and consumer goods sector. The company develops and designs products
and structures taking into account the features and benefits of additive technologies.
Recently, Triton Bikes, a custom titanium bicycle and unicycle frames producer based in Moscow,
Russia, approached CML AT with a potential project. Triton was interested in redesigning the rear
yoke for its latest bike model. This yoke is a part of the bicycle’s titanium frame that connects the
rear chainstays and the bottom bracket. Triton let CML AT know that the part should be capable
of withstanding a load equal to 130 kg. Triton also wanted to reduce the weight of the bracket,
increase its strength, simplify the production technology, and reduce cost.
In order to design this part, CML AT knew that it would have to bring in a partner who was an
expert in design and optimization tools. CML AT contacted CompMechLab, an engineering
center and expert in design, optimization, and simulation tools, and requested a partnership
for the project.
Mikhail Zhmaylo, a lead engineer at CompMechLab was tasked with the design and optimization
of the yoke. According to Mikhail, “The current yoke was manufactured using a very complicated,
time-consuming, and wasteful process. The part was CNC milled out of a titanium block in two parts.
This was done so some of the material could be milled out from the inside of the part to save weight.
Once the milling was complete, the two titanium halves were welded together. We knew we could
use Altair Inspire to optimize this part and titanium-based additive manufacturing to
produce it as one single part with better performance. Our goals for the redesigned part were to
make it lighter, easier to manufacture, and also aesthetically pleasing.”
"The redesign resulted in a 48% weight reduction
in the part."
Mikhail Zhmaylo, CompMechLab
Altair Inspire in the Design Process
The team at CompMechLab set out to redesign the part for additive manufacturing. The team
knew that it could likely use the current part and with the freedom of additive manufacturing
simply print the current geometry, however, it wanted to truly attain all of the benefits of the
process and knew it could use Altair Inspire to achieve these benefits. CompMechLab used Altair Inspire to
apply all of the loads, shape, and boundary conditions and ran multiple rounds of optimization
on the part. Mikhail noted, “In total the whole redesign process of the part took less than
a couple of weeks. Altair Inspire definitely helped to expedite this process.” After the team had
determined the final design for the part, they ran FEA analysis to ensure that it would meet
all of the required loads.
Once the design was complete and verified, CML AT organized 3D printing and post-processing
of the prototype. Electron beam melting technology by Arcam allowed the production of the part
in Ti6Al4V within a very short time frame. CML AT is now responsible for all future production
cooperation, as well as technical support for Triton Bikes. While the original part weighed 198g
and was produced with a very timely and wasteful process, the new part weighs in at 102g and
can be produced in a single-step with very little waste. In total, with the new process and design,
the part can be produced in two hours.
The redesign of the part was extremely successful, Triton is currently working on finishing up the
integration of the new design into their customized bike frame. In the future the team at Triton,
with the help of CML AT and CompMechLab may also explore redesigning the frame’s front yoke,
as well as some of the frame's structural nodes.