Baum, Deakin Engineering and the pursuit of bespoke perfection
16 April 2014
Deakin University's School of Engineering is changing the way in which universities interact with SMEs in Geelong and the Surf Coast by actively deploying technological solutions to assist in the advanced design and manufacturing space. One recent example of this approach is their work with Baum cycles who produce some of the most desirable cycling products in the world. Baum Cycles, led by owner and chief designer Darren Baum, use a range of exotic and advanced materials such as titanium alloy and stainless steel to produce road, touring and mountain bikes which are highly desirable and sought after right across the world. Moreover, their approach is truly customised manufacture since each bike is tuned, specified and painted to the customer's individual requirements - however demanding and perhaps unusual that may be.
In pursuit of attempting to capture the height of this niche market, Baum sources the best possible materials from around the world and deploys them with precision and creativity. In taking things to the next level, the research and development capabilities at Deakin University in Geelong have been called upon to bring an added technological dimension to the manufacturing process by applying their integrated product development cycle - 'Design, Analyse, Realise'. This approach has been specially developed to assist in aiding the SME sector in Victoria. By using this approach, Baum have been able to modify the limits of their titanium frame manufacturing by re-heat treating the raw tube to increase the ductility, thus allowing a greater and tighter bend and creation of cleaner, more aesthetically pleasing lines whilst maintaining the intrinsic strength and stiffness of the structure.
Again using the 'Design, Analyse, Realise' approach, Deakin have also produced a customised titanium bottle cage mount for Baum using their recently commissioned SLM 3D printer. The design includes a rare earth magnet that holds the bottle whilst on the bike frame and had to be incorporated during the sintering of the titanium powder during manufacture. The end result is a highly sophisticated and elegant product which almost morphs into the frame, but which also required some significant technology to provide the ideal final solution.
Dr Paul Collins from Deakin University who has been working alongside Baum said, 'Whilst not new, our simple approach of Design, Analyse, Realise, provides a platform for us as a University to engage with SMEs. This process provides them with an advanced understanding of the steps we undertake to assist them with their product development cycle. In our experience, this upfront approach quickly builds confidence and provides a solution much faster than would otherwise have been the case'.