Like kids excited to show off their latest toy, accessory maker Silca has recently taken possession of a new 3D laser printer. Capable of creating intricately constructed titanium components, the first use it has been put to is in creating some very smart out-front computer mounts.
Cutting an unnecessary clamp from your bars, Silca’s new Mensola mounts fit directly to your stem’s faceplate. Utilising 3D printing’s unique ability to quickly create small batch runs of intricately designed parts, this allows Silca to produce its new mount in an incredible array of different fittings. Matching a broad range of the most popular stems, if you can’t find yours among them, Silca has also designed an assessment tool you can print at home to pair one with other brands.
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Once fitted, the Mensola mounts are not only beautiful looking, but thanks to the ability of laser printing to control their internal structure, they’re lighter than aluminium alternatives. Weighing between 27-36 grams, cleverly, they’re also multiple times stronger.
To manage this, Silca’s designers borrowed structural design elements from architectural and aerospace engineering to create a stressed-skin design butressed by internal truss elements.
Leaving your bike looking like it’s sticking out its tongue, each is printed to order from 6Al/4V titanium. Meaning you’ll need to wait up to seven days for yours to be created before it arrives hot from Silca’s Indianapolis facility, they’ll accept both Garmin and Wahoo brand computers.
Although the printer is new, this is far from Silca’s first foray into playing with either titanium or lasers. Laser welding of the material has already helped the brand produce its slinky Sicuro bottle cage. Allowing for a level of consistency previously impossible, like some kind of deranged Bond villain, Silca’s lab is now filling with further laser equipment.
This has partly been driven by CEO Josh Poertner. Having studied aerospace and automotive engineering along with material science at Vanderbilt University, Poertner is well known for his work with pioneering wheel designer Zipp.
Bringing more capability in-house, both technologies will now give him and the firm’s designers greater freedom in their future schemes. Already famous for making the world's most desirable pumps along with equally lovely toolsets, these are likely to be increasingly supplemented by new products utilising Silca’s latest acquisitions.