We’ve seen the future, and the future is 3D printing. Trains, planes and automobiles construction -both commercial and residential- is all being transformed by the advent of this burgeoning field. And the cycling industry is no exception.

You’ll remember our coverage of Charge Bikes’ 3D printed titanium dropouts, here and here. A German company named VORWaeRTZ has taken 3D production to a whole new level.

VORWaeRTZ is using a process called laser-cuseing to print production-level frame lugs, fork crowns, dropouts, brake bridges, stems, hub-flanges, and seatpost parts. They not only look stunning but cut down on the time required to create fully custom carbon frames with titanium lugs.

Hit the jump for close-ups of VORWaeRTZ’s 10.8 pound beauty…

photo: Core77

We posted a making of video when this first surfaced, but we just ran across these photos, above from Core77 and the remainder from the brand’s website. Suitable for the Louvre Museum, VORWaeRTZ’s little pieces of art are capable of being punished on the road or track.

VORWaeRTZ-3Dprinted-closeup-dropout VORWaeRTZ-3Dprinted-closeup-brake-bridge-brace

VORWaeRTZ can finish each 3D printed titanium piece in TIN (shown), CRN, or TiCN+C. Each has a unique color and finish (gold, sliver, black – respectively).


This printed titanium stem weighs a claimed 169g; length is unmentioned.


No doubt contributing to the feathery weight is the rather uncomfortable looking carbon saddle, but hey, this is a show-stopper, not a Grand Tourer.


If the gold hue is too much bling, tone it down with the CRN coating.


And for the Batman fans, all stealthed-out is the TiCN+C coating.


  1. Lugs are about surface area for bonding the two dissimilar materials. Not looking good on the structural front. Looks like a fun project though.

  2. Aesthetics and function aren’t mutually exclusive.

    A couple of bikes have been made with steel lugs and steel tubes.

  3. im really surprised this wasnt posted here earlier. i saw this last year but assumed it had already been covered. they have a bunch of pictures on their website with “in-production” photos of the lugs that are pretty sweet. or they used to…

  4. Bit late to the party on this one.

    3D printing, especially Ti has numbers fairly close to finished machined pcs. from our research, so the lugs should be fine, especially the smart way they have been designed.

    The stem though scares me more than a little… Good design should instill confidence in the user and while it might be strong enough in application, the mental gap of perception is its killed to me.

  5. Steve M, did you notice that all the lugs have internal sleeves for increased bond area. With proper bond prep and epoxy selection I would say the frame will be just find structurally.

  6. @Matt: Not if there’s a proper medium between the two. Wound Up forks bond CF legs to aluminum crowns without galvanic corrosion issues.

  7. Wonder if the torsional stress of a carbon shaft glued into a golf club head is greater than that of a bike lug? Gold clubs always seem to break right above the hosel, or what would be the lug in this case. Very rarely does a head let go due to the glue failure.

  8. @Matt I believe galvanic corrosion is not much of an issue with titanium and carbon. Someone out there who knows more than I do please correct me if I’m wrong,
    This is why Calfee uses ti for it’s metal parts, “We use titanium fittings wherever possible because they resist rust and corrosion, and they don’t naturally separate from the carbon because of their nearly identical rate of thermal expansion. If aluminum fittings must be used, we insulate them from the carbon with fiberglass.” From the Calfee website.

    I may just be drinking the Calfee PR Kool-aid, though.

  9. It looks like these guys have done the necessary engineering, although I’m curious to see how it would hold up in sprint race with somebody like Andre Greipel in the saddle. I would also like to see some data on the strength of what is essentially a sintered metal piece compared to a forged part.

  10. The bond area should be fine on these with proper prep. As to galvanic corrosion: nope. Ti and Carbon play very nicely with one another (as opposed to steel/aluminum and CF). However, I cringe to think of the price for this beauty. Direct to metal SLS isnt cheap (I’d guess the lugs and stem to be about $10,000 worth of printing)

  11. I’ll second Slow Joe Crow’s request for more data on strength and fatigue. I know the comparison isn’t perfect, but I keep thinking of the difference between forged, machined, sintered, and cast metals. The process seems more akin to sintering or casting, neither of which would make a structurally sound component. But I’m probably misunderstanding the process and metallurgy.

  12. If the lugs are custom printed why the clevis/pivot for the seat stays. A one piece dropout would be far more elegant.

  13. It’s nice to see that the lugs have plugs for the inside of the tubing, but that stem is just plain wrong and I think their coating choices are terrible. Both Chromium Nitride and TiCN are coatings used in cutting tools and are meant *NOT* to stick to other materials…

What do you think?