One of our Sauciers just made a a custom carbon fibre – aluminum bike.
The gist of it is:
1. You design your whacky bike on the computer. Print lugs using a low-end 3d printer, buy off the shelf aluminum tubing, snap them together like lego.
2. Now 3d print molds that fit closely around your lugs. use the molds to shape carbon fibre and epoxy around your first lugs and the tubing. Break off the molds, sand away the excess, and KAPOW! your own custom bike. No jigs, no welding, no expensive tooling, no experts.
Wrap your head around that last part. No tooling, no experts. You can go from a theoretical plan on a computer, and go straight to a performance bike frame, sure, it may be goofy looking, but you got a chance to prove your theory without a single skilled crafts person (sorry andrew). You did not have to worry about race-regulations, you wrote your own safety parameters, you did not have to worry about it selling well to the spandex crowd. You win.
It’s also worth noting that we are no longer in the realm of welding chopped up bikes together in the garage. Substitute aluminum tubes for carbon fibre, or titanium. Substitute semi-recumbent for a torpedo shaped prone bike. Suddenly, every regulation compliant, market viable, scientist approved, carbon fibre status symbol seems bogged down by the things you did not ask for.
So thanks Andrew Leinonen, and thanks for the instructable.