Superstrata is the world's first true unibody, custom-fit bicycle 3D printed in continuous carbon fiber composite. Carbon fiber frames have long been the premium choice of avid cyclists. Yet the thermoset carbon fiber composite and molded manufacturing processes used in traditional carbon fiber bikes are costly, limited in customization, and present issues pertaining to complex stress calculations. By employing thermoplastic carbon fiber composite and proprietary 3D printing technology, Superstrata realizes an eye-catching, no-seat tube design with unprecedented potential for customization.
Superstrata features an unconventional, no-seat tube design and an in-tube battery (in the ebike version) for a sleek, aerodynamic ride. To achieve this design, Superstrata adopts an innovative approach to the material and manufacturing: instead of using the previous-generation thermoset carbon fiber composites and injection molding processes, Superstrata is 3D printed in a single pass from the next-generation thermoplastic carbon fiber composite. This process results in a true unibody construction that is free of joints, bolts, or glue of any kind. This improves both the strength and the visual appeal of the bike.
Because each Superstrata frame is 3D printed, it can be customized based on its owner's body measurements (height, inseam, ankle height, knee height, and wingspan), thereby accommodating riders from 4'7" to 7'4. Superstrata's components and colors are also customizable, resulting in bikes that are completely unique to their owners.
Since their invention in the 19th century, bicycles have remained popular as their makers have continued to look for innovations in bike designs. In recent years, carbon fiber has become the ideal material for bicycles due to its simultaneous and contradictory stiffness and lightness. By employing next-generation thermoplastic carbon fiber composite and 3D printing technology, Superstrata pushes the boundaries of what a carbon fiber bike can offer through its eye-catching design and unprecedented customization capability.
Existing carbon fiber bikes use thermoset carbon fiber composites thermoset carbon fiber composite and molded manufacturing processes which is costly, time-consuming, and labor-intensive. Moreover, every part of a bike frame has its own geometry and load scenarios, and its composite parts will have their own optimum positioning of carbon fibers to meet these requirements. In Superstrata, a proprietary software engineers the directionality of carbon fibers before a robot arm bonds them together with melting polymer to create a strong, streamlined, unibody structure free of joints or bolts. This eliminates weak points at the joints and seams, bolsters the strength, and enhances the aesthetic. And due to the springiness of the polymer chains, thermoplastic-based composites have higher inherent impact resistance. As a result, this process enables a bicycle frame with an unconventional, no-seat tube design that remains highly impact resistant.
Realizing this unconventional, no-seat tube design with elegant curves that maintains strength and stiffness took us nearly four years, countless iterations, and ten distinct versions. The Superstrata represents a balance of feasibility, aesthetics, and function.
On the other hand, with regards to sustainability, the carbon fiber frame has an indefinite shelf life, and it can be deconstructed for recycling because the melting and solidification processes are reversible. While manufacturers use recycled content to reduce input costs, society benefits from remarkably reduced landfill waste.