The Lamiflex Group developed an exercise bike called the Ciclotte. Its ultra-modern carbon fiber frame, touch screen display, and reduced pedal distance help ensure the correct bio-mechanics throughout the complete leg rotational movement. The large central wheel forms the cornerstone of the design and is reminiscent of the classic unicycles dating back to the end of the 1800s.
The Ciclotte is designed to accurately reproduce the dynamics and performance of on road pedaling and is deal for high intensity aerobic training such as spinning which is all possible because of the innovative epicycloid crank system. A dual satellite system which uses four gears with varying cogs in a functional space of only 58mm. By multiplying the number of flywheel rotations, about four flywheel rotations to every pedal rotation, it helps generate a high-intensity magnetic field (from the main wheel) which maximizes the resistance level and produces plenty of thigh-burning resistance.
A first aesthetic prototype was produced to test the market feedback before moving onto a fully functional prototype. To guarantee the exact requirements and size of all functional mechanical components, including the carbon-fiber handlebar and saddle, all components were designed in 3D and simulated as virtual assembly to highlight any potential issues prior to the assembling procedure where more than 60 separate components were finally brought together.
During this process, Lamiflex evaluated CAD/CAM software and migrated from a parametric-based system to Vero Software’s VISI product. The company is running multiple licenses of VISI Modeling, VISI Analysis for Design, and VISI Machining with Compass Technology for 2D through five-axis milling.
According to Federico Castelli, Lamiflex R&D director and Ciclotte project leader, “We used VISI for the design and manufacture of all composite parts that were used to build the Ciclotte. With regard to the molds for the carbon fiber wheel and the handlebar, all of this was achieved in less than 100 hours of CAD work.
Once the molds were complete and polished, the fabric and epoxy resin are applied and then inserted in to a vacuum bag and place inside the autoclave for the curing process. Once hardened, the parts are passed through to the CAM department for finish machining.
The company operates several milling machines including two simultaneous five-axis CNC’s running VISI Machining. For the finish machining of the composite products, the trimming method is often used where the side of the tool is driven along the surface edge. For additional control, synchronization curves can be used to control the tool movement in local areas where the potential direction changes are at their most extreme. For the machining of planar holes, the tool is tilted perpendicular to the surface, but when product holes are difficult to reach, and an extra tilting of the tool is required in order to avoid collision with the tool holder. When the toolpath is complete, the machine operator is able to virtually walk through the complete program using the kinematic simulator and prove the toolpath is collision-free. Today, the Ciclotte is available in full carbon, silver (fiberglass), and steel. The product was launched in the UK in September 2010.