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Discussion in 'Engineering' started by monkeylc, 7 May 2013.

  1. monkeylc

    monkeylc Active Geek


    One day in 2009, Israeli engineer Izhar Gafni sat in a quiet library designing a machine to extract seeds from pomegranates when his mind drifted to cycling, his favorite pastime. Gafni admired bikes made from sustainable bamboo, but their high cost seemed prohibitive. He wondered, Why not make them from cardboard, instead?

    Over the next two years, Gafni learned to fold cardboard sheets into the strongest possible shapes; his experimentation led to robust structures resembling honeycombs and bird nests. He then spent another year crafting the material into bicycle components. "I almost felt like the Wright Brothers going into unknown territory," he says.

    The product of his labor is a single-speed bicycle with spokes, rims, and a frame made from cardboard. Varnish protects the glued paper core from moisture, while old car tires serve as puncture-proof wheels. Gafni used a car's timing belt as a chain and formed plastic bottles into pedal cranks. The 28-pound prototype, called Alfa, can safely support a rider nearly 20 times its weight.
  2. sidevalve

    sidevalve Well-Known Geek

    Nice idea, need to work on the styling a bit and make sure it really is waterproof but a good start.
  3. BoforsGun

    BoforsGun Über Geek

    This could mean i really need to swap my bike tools, gone are the spanners, in are pritt stick and cellotape!
  4. sidevalve

    sidevalve Well-Known Geek

    Emergency repairs with a staple gun.
    BoforsGun and 0-markymark-0 like this.
  5. Gene Gibly

    Gene Gibly Active Geek

    Check out the development cost though ... :eek:

    I love it when people just go with an idea and keep at it until they get something reasonably useful out of it. Prove the original concept - even if it doesn't end up being "sexy" or commercially viable.

    More power to him ... :thumbsup:
    BoforsGun likes this.
  6. amusicsite

    amusicsite dn ʎɐʍ sᴉɥ┴ Staff Member

    Surely it's easier to just make the bike out of wood rather than all the effort of turning the wood into cardboard first :rolleyes:
  7. Gene Gibly

    Gene Gibly Active Geek

    Sure, but where's the fun in that? :giggle:
    amusicsite likes this.
  8. Besides, I thought we were re-cycling here.