In a workshop in Silicon Valley, the startup Arevo is 3D printing samples of its first generation of bikes. A custom robot prints the company’s carbon fiber-embedded material using a process that can print in all dimensions, rather than just building layers like a standard 3D-printer–making it strong enough to print large objects like bikes or parts of an airplane. (The company plans to make a variety of industrial components, but chose to start with bikes to demonstrate its technology.)

Since the robot does all the work, there are no labor costs, it’s feasible to manufacture in the U.S. or Europe and avoid the carbon footprint of shipping bike componets across the ocean. The manufacturing process also has a lower environmental footprint. Right now, most carbon fiber bikes are made in a high-energy process that involves baking the frame in a huge oven for hours or days.
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