An Australian bike builder says he can create a custom geometry lugged frame in as little as three weeks by using “the only 3D printer in the southern hemisphere capable of producing our titanium parts.”
Lugs are socket-like sleeves used to join different tubes together to create a bicycle frame, kind of like the wooden spools used to connect Tinkertoy sticks together. Instead of brazing the tubes to the lugs as is traditionally done, Flying Machine of Perth, Western Australia bonds titanium tubes to their custom crafted lugs with epoxy.
Traditionally, lugs come in a limited variety of angles, limiting frame geometry to what you can get by changing tube lengths. 3D printed lugs allows Flying Machines to fiddle with custom geometries with much greater flexibility.