The Modefi is a bike designed by the user. Bike commuters share a common purpose, but not a singular way of use. Commuters modify their bike frame to fit the their diverse needs; so the designers of the Modefi wanted to embrace that.
“Individuality and the power of choice, are key in today’s marketplace. Users desire to have complete control over the most important aspects of the products they purchase. With these features as a main focus, Modefi allows users to create their own bicycle tailored to their specific lifestyle. Users choose from a range of storage options and aesthetic modifications, creating a unique bike to fit their needs. Recent 3D printing and manufacturing technology advancements make this bike possible. It introduces a revolutionary way of looking at personalized transportation systems that can grow and transform with you and your lifestyle”, said the designers Nicole Assini, Louise Goacher and Jane Neiswander.
With that in mind, the goal of the designers was to create a next-generation bicycle for commuting or other work applications. After weeks of observations and background research, it became clear to them that not one single cyclist uses his or her bike the same way. Bike commuters share a common purpose, but not a singular way of use. One size does not fit all. Therefore, the challenge for them became not only to understand the component makeup of a bicycle but to understand the bicycle’s role within its larger context.
According to the designers, the main question that arose from this was “how can we improve the interactions among cyclists and those they share the road with?” This led to the recognition of their main challenge : to create a bike that instills confidence in the user while riding.
One major resource they at hand during the project, was a newly developed filament of carbon-fiber impregnated plastic for 3d printing. Knowing that this was available for their use, the team considered what the value of 3D printing would be within the context of the problem they faced.
“It was important to us, from the start, to align our design within the realm of new material capabilities and innovations. 3D printing as a medium of manufacturing allows users to create on the spot adjustments both quickly and relatively inexpensively. It allows a level of customization that traditional manufacturing methods cannot support due to high tooling costs. Within the realm of their design challenge, 3D printing gave us the opportunity to create a bike that could be specifically tailored for the user. Our main research insight was that users modify their bike frame to fit the their commuting. This is not something that can be prevented, so we decided to make it the driving force behind our r design”, said the team.
As as result, the Modefi is broken up into component frame pieces that can be swapped out easily for user frame adjustments. These adjustments range from small storage options to aesthetic form changes. It combines the options offered in many different bikes into one single frame. Through 3D printing, the designers were able to instill confidence in their clients by letting them dictate not only the functional storage components of the bike, but also aesthetic modifications allowing the user to change the bike based on their needs and preferences over time.
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