We have talked about DIY project before; some of them quite astounding while others are just satisfactory. However, every once in a while you come across certain DIY projects which reflect genius minds so purely that you are amazed by it. Such DIY projects are those which can be put into the market and are bound to get amazing feedback and results; such as the ballast bulb. For those of you who are not familiar with DIY projects, here’s a brief introduction. DIY stands for Do it yourself. DIY projects are those projects which are not undertaken by any company but an individual or a team of individuals. You could very well say that these are hobbies with outcomes that can be executed and used. People have gone from building replicas of movies gadgets to building their very own roller coaster rides. The idea is appealing and interesting. With the right mind set and tools, one can achieve whatever they set their mind to. Anyhow, enough of the pep talks, let’s get down to business. We will be talking about a DIY project which is bound to get into market with a bang. In 2009, Izhar Gafni, an Israeli Engineer was working on a boring project and if you must know it was the design of a machine that was supposed to extract seeds from pomegranates. Our engineer was in the library and as every engineer would know, we all just love drifting in thoughts when we are working; his mind drifted to his favorite hobby, cycling. He was an admirer of the bikes made from sustainable bamboo, but the cost was too damn high. Let’s make it cost efficient, he thought. How to do that was the question, but soon enough he had the answer; Cardboard. Engr. Gafni spent the next two years learning how to convert cardboard shapes into strongest shapes that was possible. This led him to strong structures which somewhat resembled honeycombs and bird nests. The next year was spent in converting those shapes into bicycle components. Gafni said, ‘I almost felt like the Wright Brothers going into unknown territory.’
This hard labor proved fruitful when he emerged victorious with a single speed bicycle. The spokes, rims and the frame is made of cardboard. The paper is protected from moisture using varnish. Old car tires are used as puncture proof wheels for this bicycle. Furthermore, he used a car’s timing belt as a chain and pedal cranks were created from plastic bottles. The result, ladies and gentlemen; Alfa- a 28 pound prototype which can accommodate a rider 20 times its weight.
Engr. Gafni has plans to put two models to mass production; one for adult and one for children. The manufacturing cost is to be $9 in material and shall be sold for no more than $30. He has plans to make more useful things using this cardboard technique and was quoted saying; ‘You can do almost anything with it!’ This is something which we all might turn to in the coming future; using such materials for construction of everyday use items.