A Toronto-based startup bike maker recently turned to Proto Labs for machining parts for titanium prototypes for an innovative fold-up bike concept that will launch to a worldwide market later this year.
Folding-bike models haven’t really changed much over the years. Most have small wheels, are heavy and awkward to use, and, ironically, don’t actually fold up that small.
Nearly four years ago, Helix Bikes set out to create a folding bike that is lightweight, durable, rides and feels like a full-size bike, has larger wheels, is safe and easy to use, and folds into a truly small, portable size—a bike that can be stored under your desk, taken on the subway, stowed in the trunk of your car, or packed in a suitcase.
A wildly successful 2015 Kickstarter campaign pledged more than $2.2 million to help Helix with additional funding, which “gave us the ability to take the design to the next level—we really pulled out all of the stops,” said Peter Boutakis, founder of Helix Bikes.
Helix eventually turned to Proto Labs for machined titanium parts for Helix’s prototypes, swiftly moving from submitted CAD models to bike prototypes within weeks.
Boutakis gives Proto Labs high marks.
“Both [Proto Labs’] quoting and analysis were amazing. It’s incredible that something as complex as a one-off custom machined part can be quoted so quickly and at such a reasonable price…we went from CAD model to riding prototype in about three weeks…Without a resource like Proto Labs, we would be months behind with fewer iterations and the result would have been a less polished product.”
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