Sunday, September 23, 2012

Can You Really Ride A Cardboard Bicycle?

Sustainable materials are all around us. Now, it is just a matter of reformulating their original purpose and repurpose these materials into new and challenging solutions. Who woulda thunk that cardboard could be crafted into functional bicycle or that wood could be potentially stronger than kevlar or carbon fiber?

Necessity is the mother of invention and hearing about stories such as a bike being built from cardboard keeps us awake at night. We know of the amazing building properties within bamboo, concrete, hemp and an array of other materials, so now we are seeking out a plethora of interesting stories such as this.

Neil Fallon sings it best in the Clutch song You Can't Stop Progress

Link to short film on Vimeo

Questions and answers, original post and info here

What was the biggest challenge in working with cardboard?

The biggest challenge of the Cardboard Bike project was to learn and develop a whole new know how of cardboard. Our challenge was to take the cardboard material, and pass it through a set of treatments, to replace the raw materials of plastic, wood or metal.

What did you learn from the experience?

What start up nation learned: That Nothing is impossible if you have patience and you are persistent.

How far along is the development of the Cardboard Bikes?

The development started 3 years ago. Since there was no know how with regards to the cardboard material, the first 2 years were devoted to learning the properties and behavior of the material; from all aspects of engineering tools, strength calculations and analysis and establishment of the IP that protects all of this know how. The "packaging box on wheels" as seen in our video was the third prototype, the Alfa commercial model (with the letter A on the chassis), is the first operational model that is made of a 100% recycled materials (with the electric motor as an add-on option).

Is it patented?

All know how, working procedures and production techniques are fully patent protected worldwide by Israel’s leading patent Reinhold-Cohen.

When will the company get to the point where it is manufacturing?

The Company is now in the process of raising funds that will bring the company within 6 months of investment to the point in which we will have a full and detailed manufacturing plan for the first 2 platforms. The commercial/Urban bikes (BOM – $9, 9 KG), and the kids/youth bike (BOM - $5, 3.5 KG). These models will be made of almost 100% recycled materials and will have the option of adding an electric motor. At this stage we have only the prototype for the commercial bikes as shown on the video.

How do you have the knowledge to take it from here to the market?

The inventor, Mr. Izhar Gafni, is a mechanical engineer and a multi-disciplinary systems developer. Izhar developed the recycled cardboard bikes combining his knowledge in 2 main areas: being an expert in building and designing custom made carbon fiber bikes for high end riders and his experience as a production line expert. Izhar is known for his former developments of the Pomegranate Peeling Machine (for which he has won a prize by the American Association of Engineers), a Smart Robot for sewing shoes, a Disabled Climbing Machine and more.We believe we have the knowledge and the ability to reach our goals and that nothing is impossible.

What is your vision?

Cardboard Technologies is all about making a better world for us to live in by two main principals: creating the ability to produce almost any daily product from at least 95% recycled materials and building auto production lines, with a simple post production assembly that will be performed by people with difficulties or disabilities.

Unlimited and incentivized raw materials and incentivized manpower will help us create working places in every location which we will find a local partner at. Our vision is also to bring the factories back from China (starting with the green ones).

What is your business model, and what will be the end user cost of your bikes?

The principals of our vision above, will allow our partners and manufactures to receive almost all of the of the production costs of our products back from governmental and global incentives, making our products available to almost any person in any philanthropic or commercial business model.

We can add any design or logo to the bike chassis for example and with by adding a simple electric motor, making it the most classical urban clean transportation.

This will allow our bikes to be given away as a commercial transportation or as a gift for Christmas from your Mayor.

Another important attribute of our bikes, is that they need no adjustment or maintenance, making them available directly to consumer at low price, and not through the regular marketing chains that will bring it to an end cost of X5 post assembly."