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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Corrugated Bicycle Origami

You might be wondering just why Japan—It's A Wonderful Rife is presenting this albeit cool story about an Israeli inventor of a bicycle made of recycled corrugated materials - but the truth is... he got some inspiration from origami, the Japanese art of paper folding.

Check out the image above. While not overly stylish, the bicycle does look like a real bicycle, is sturdy, water-resistent, and, for all you tree-huggers out there—the bicycle is made out of recycled corrugated... that's fluted cardboard... but the correct industry name is corrugated. Get it right! You have been informed.

The bicycle is manufactured from honeycomb board, which is actually a form of corrugated board where the corrugated paperboard is cut into thin strips and laminated so that the fluting stands through the depth of the board, and not packed along the surface. This makes the board as solid as steel.
I still don't see the origami aspect in this story...

Now... let's see... the story... I have two different stories and two different names for the bicycles' creator: Giora Kariv and Izhar Gafni.

Hmmm... it appears as those Gafni is the real inventor, with Kariv being a film-maker showing what the bicycle is all about. Get it right! You have been informed, again! I'm not showing the video... 

So...  behind every great man, there is a great woman. Ask any married man, and they will tell you that behind every great man is a great nag, and Gafni probably heard enough of this.

Tired of Gafni talking the talk but not walking the walk, she told him to build the damn bicycle he had thought he could build. So he did. And while he does indeed owe getting off his ass to his wife and has now enjoyed some fame and hopefully will earn a few shekels, this blog is hoping his completing the task has made her shut up for a bit. Oy gevalt.
Izhar Gafni got tired of being nagged and invented a bicycle made of corrugated. Perhaps to get away.

But... nag or not... you really have to hand it to Gafni's wife... she made him build a pretty neat bicycle...

But you know what? The best part about this sustainable bicycle is the fact that until big retail stores get their hands on it, Gafni says it costs about $10 to build.

This blog is sure that doesn't include Gafni's time, wear and tear on the equipment, rent and electrical costs or even marketing, but it's still going to be an inexpensive bicycle.

I think what's even cooler is that you can paint the bike yourself, saving yourself a few bucks.

The whole project was not as smooth a ride as one would expect... as so-called experts said it was not possible to manufacture a working bicycle out of corrugated.   I know, I know... who are these experts, and have they lost their license to be considered experts?

Anyhow, the bicycle is strong... and can hold up to 140 kilograms of weight  - that's 308.65 pounds. And really... that's a heck of a lot!  

It took a few prototypes before Gafni got it right - earlier ones were bulky. Now here's the Japanese thing... the folding of the cardboard has been described to be akin to origami... and it's the folding in of fluting that makes the corrugated stronger.

Oh yeah... and with a laminated finish, adds a bit of water- and humidity-resistance, the bike looks like it is made of plastic.

Andrew Joseph

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