3D Design and the Evolution of the Bicycle

Who invented the first bicycle … and why should it matter to us?

The first “bicycle” was invented in 1817 by German, Baron Karl von Drais. Technically, it was a velocipede, or 2-wheeled human-powered vehicle. It had no pedals … to operate it you had to run! For this reason, it was nicknamed “the hobby horse”.

It was constructed almost entirely from wood, with brass bushing and steel-rimmed wheels. As a result, it weighed around 48.5 pounds. For context, modern bikes weigh about half that.

In the late 1800s, the bicycle – very similar to today’s version – was introduced. The design featured a chain-driven rear wheel. Incredibly, they were manufactured using technologies from the sewing industry.

Bicycles have come a long way, but the engineering and design isn’t a modern invention. The first folding bike was created in 1878 in England, and thefirst battery-powered bicycle or ‘e-bike’ was patented in 1895!

So, why should Hexagon PPM – a company that is focused on transforming unstructured information into smart digital assets – care about the history of the bicycle? How could that possibly relate to visualizing, building and managing some of the most complex industrial structures and facilities?

Read this blog by Bricsys to find out! Bricsys, now part of Hexagon, builds cost effective, mission-critical CAD tools that take customers’ design workflows to the next level. It’s all about design.


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