Helix is a new bicycle startup that wants to make the best folding bikes on the planet. The Helix has a side-by-side, patent-pending folding design that places the wheels beside the frame and between the cranks.
The company not only wanted to revolutionize the bicycle, but it wanted to use state-of-the-art manufacturing processes to make it happen. Now that full production has finally begun, automation will be integral to the company’s success as it works through a backorder of more than 1,700 foldable bikes.
The feat wouldn’t have been possible without partners like the laser cutting, welding and drilling system specialists at Prima Power Laserdyne.
Helix brought in the LASERDYNE 430 BeamDirector fiber laser machining system (430BDY) to precisely bevel cut titanium tubing that is used throughout the bicycle design.
Helix worked closely with Prima Power’s applications engineers to cut consistent, steeply beveled edges out of titanium tubing without the need for any secondary deburring or tube cleanup. The components require precise and clean cuts because the parts are then welded together with a robot. The 430BDY also cuts the holes and slots in the tubular parts.
The key to the design is the steep angle on the titanium tubes, which the Helix engineers require for maximum rigidity while keeping the overall weight down (and likely why they only use titanium).
While the foldable Helix bike has caused a bit of excitement in the marketplace, the new six-axis system should help the company begin shipping orders finally in September 2018.