Mythos is dazzling enthusiasts with its latest 3D-printed stem called the Elix, claiming to be the world’s first commercially available stem of its kind.
The person behind the radical-looking new stem is Dimitris Katsanis, whose 3D-printing technology was used to help Bradley Wiggins break the UCI Hour Record in 2015.
The Elix is made from Scalmalloy, an alloy that comprises a matrix of scandium, aluminum and magnesium that was developed for 3D printing by Airbus, a material that is key in the application of aerospace components.
But above and beyond its material, perhaps the most striking aspect of the Elix is its skeletal appearance, which Mythos describe as: “in order to eliminate areas of high stress with small local reinforcements, and reduce weight around other areas by skillfully removing any non-essential material. Not only that, but the fact that all of this happens in-house, without the need for any part-specific tooling, means that we can create one-off products and prototypes in days that would normally take months. As a result, the Elix stem is 15% torsionally stiffer than an equivalent alloy stem, along with a new contemporary design.”
What exactly is 3D-printing? Mythos explains:
“Additive manufacturing (3D printing) works by adding layers of powdered material and melting that powder to our design. This builds up layer by layer meaning we can tailor our design to have features that can’t be replicated using traditional manufacturing methods like CNC machining. To arrive at this design we essentially started with testing. Using a manual topology optimization method we switched between FEA (Finite Element Analysis) simulations and CAD software to identify load paths and therefore areas that needed more or less material, and then made those changes iteratively. This method is what allowed us to increase the stiffness of the stem in torsion without affecting the bending stiffness. Once the final design was approved and passed our FEA stress analysis, prototypes for each size were printed and fatigue tested using the test methods outlined in the ISO 4210 test standard. Prototypes were also sent out to a selection of riders around the world, who have ridden the stem on road, gravel, and even to a win at the second race of the 2022 Italian Fixed Cup.”
The Elix stem is produced in the UK, which is available in all sizes directly from Mythos for a hefty £500.
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