18 Bikes, an SME based in Hope Valley, is using the Sheffield Innovation Programme to manufacture its bike frames more efficiently – saving the company resources and money.

The challenge:

In their Sheffield workshop, the team at 18 Bikes makes custom changes and improvements to the bikes they sell. They also make custom frames from scratch. During their work, the team identified the fixtures that they use to cut metal tubes for their bespoke bike frames could be improved.

What we did

18 Bikes is receiving SIP services from the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at The University of Sheffield to develop a better fixture for the tube-cutting machinery it uses in its workshop. For this custom design and manufacturing job, the prototype fixture is made with 3D printing.

The results

With the improved fixture, 18 Bikes expect that a lot of time can be saved when setting up their machines to create bespoke bike frames. The fixture will also speed up the cutting process and make it easier for their customers to get frames that are the same size and shape. Another benefit will be that, with the fixture, less metal tubing material will be wasted. This will save 18 Bikes a small amount of money on the cost of its raw materials.

“Being on the programme has been very useful for getting a second opinion on the problem the company was facing and coming up with a solution that I wouldn't have been able to come up with on my own.”

Matt BownsCo-Founder, 18 Bikes

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