The top cap is amazingly intricateJack Luke / Immediate Media
Designed in nTopology Element Pro — a piece of fancy CAD software for optimising and designing lattice-based structures that Spencer helped design — the cap is printed from titanium 6AL4V using laser metal powder bed fusion.
As fans of drilium love to quip, there’s nothing lighter than a hole. Given this top cap is more hole than not, it should come as no surprise that it comes in at a feathery 4g.
How could you ever grow tired of fumbling this little thingJack Luke / Immediate Media
The top cap has that typically matte and slightly rough texture of 3D printed titanium, which feels great in the hand — thumbing it while it has sat on my desk for the last few weeks has yet to grow tiresome.
No one is going to claim this top cap does a better job than any other optionJack Luke / Immediate Media
I don’t think anyone, not least Spencer, is going to claim that this top cap does the job of being a top cap significantly better than a regular one.
Instead, it’s better viewed as a lovely, albeit expensive, design exercise that may just be a glimpse into the future of bicycle construction.
Where else may this technology be used?
Spencer has also been working on a stemSpencer Wright / Addition Performance Components
Speaking more generally, I can see this lattice-based construction becoming increasingly used on bicycles and in wider applications as It allows for super strong structures that use material very efficiently.
With 3D printing technology also becoming more accessible by the day, it may even reach a point that producing parts in this way may be cheaper than traditional methods.