Silca is manufacturing derailleur hangers for bicycles using 3D printing and titanium materials.

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Revolutionizing Cycling: Silca’s Breakthrough in 3D Printing Technology

When we think of additive manufacturing, we often imagine it being used in industries such as healthcare, aerospace, or automotive. However, there is one sector that has been quietly harnessing the power of 3D printing to revolutionize its products: cycling. Silca, a leading firm in the development of parts, accessories, and tools for cycling, has recently made headlines with its groundbreaking derailleur hanger made with metal 3D printing.

The derailleur hanger may seem like a simple component, but it plays a crucial role in the functioning of a bicycle. It is responsible for facilitating the shifting of gears located on the rear wheel. However, due to wear and tear, derailleur hangers can become bent or lose alignment, leading to malfunctioning derailleurs. Just a few millimeters of deviation can cause significant issues.

Traditionally, derailleur hangers are designed to yield or bend when they receive a certain force, such as an impact or simply leaning the bike on the derailleur side. This protects the frame and the derailleur itself. However, the rise of electronic derailleurs has presented a new challenge. These derailleurs exert a significant amount of force when shifting the chain, causing the hanger to bend slightly with each shift, resulting in a loss of precision.

Silca recognized this problem and set out to find a solution. By leveraging the advantages of additive manufacturing, they designed a derailleur hanger that remains more rigid during normal use, effectively minimizing flexing. Through 3D printing, Silca was able to create a component that, in the event of an impact, can break without damaging the frame or derailleur. This innovative approach not only increases shifting precision but also offers greater protection.

While Silca has not disclosed the specific additive manufacturing technology used, it is known that the derailleur hanger is made of titanium. With its excellent strength-to-weight ratio, titanium is an ideal material for cycling components. It is likely that Silca employed laser powder bed fusion, although there are other metal 3D printing technologies compatible with titanium.

The results speak for themselves. Silca’s optimized derailleur hanger offers 5 to 6 times more rigidity than standard hangers while also reducing weight. Currently available for frames using Shimano Direct Mount and SRAM UHD, as well as specific models from top brands, including Cannondale, Canyon, Cervelo, Factor, Giant, Pinarello, Scott, Specialized, and Trek, these innovative derailleur hangers have garnered praise from both users and professional riders.

Silca’s venture into the world of 3D printing and its use of titanium showcases the enormous potential of additive manufacturing in the cycling industry. By combining innovative technology and craftsmanship, the brand continues to elevate the user experience. As the demand for optimized cycling components grows, it is exciting to see what other breakthroughs await us.

What are your thoughts on Silca’s use of titanium 3D printing to create derailleur hangers? We would love to hear your opinion! Share your views in the comment section below or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Stay updated with the latest 3D printing news by signing up for our free weekly Newsletter here. Don’t forget to check out our YouTube channel for all our videos.

*All Photo Credits: Silca

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