A Look at Balance Bike DesignsAugust 20, 2014November 27, 2014fuore

Industrial design has evolved into a field that has expanded its wings from User Interfaces to product designs. With the help of technology, you can create a wonderful product on your PC and then get it manufactured to get the desired product. Using various design software like Autodesk, it is possible to create absolutely anything. Let us go through such an example with a balance bike as the subject. Here is how to make your own balance bike –

The first step in designing a custom balance bike is the wheels.  As is the case with each step of this project, you’ll want to take into account the size of the child who will be using the balance bike once it’s finished.

Starting with one wheel, sketch circles (Sketch > Circle) to represent the outer boundary of the tire, the hub, and what will likely be a metal frame between the two.

After that, use the extrude tool (Construct > Extrude) to give the wheel the desired thickness, extruding the “hub” and the “metal frame” to slightly shorter levels than the tire itself.  On the other side of the wheel, project the surface, and create the same extrusions on the hub and the frame as the first side.

Using the Modify fillet tool, round off the top surfaces, and then add color to the hub, frame, and tire using Materials.  What started as a few circles should now be looking much more like a wheel.

Once you have finished the first wheel, use the Rectangular Pattern Tool (Pattern > Rectangular Pattern) to create a second wheel, and punch a hole in the center of each wheel.

Use the polyline tool to create the profile of the front fork (really drawing half of the fork), and use the rectangle to create the sketch of the opening for the body. Be sure to use the trim tool (Sketch > Trim) to trim any lines that are not required.

Like you did before with the wheels, extrude the sketch to the desired thickness, and use the mirror tool (Pattern > Mirror) to complete the front fork.

Before you design the handlebars and grips, open the wheels file that you created, group the wheels, and place the model of the fork in the bike assembly (File>Insert>From My Computer).  From there, you can move the fork into place

For the handlebars themselves, first use the project tool (Sketch > Project) to select the top face of the front fork, use a polyline to create a rectangle for the handlebar, and extrude the profile to the desired handlebar thickness. From there, you can apply material and whatever color you’d like to your handlebars.

To put grips on the end of the handlebar, use the project tool (Sketch > Project) to select the end face of the handlebar, sketch a circle on the projected face, and extrude the outside portion of the circle. Repeat the process with a slightly larger circle to place a knob on the end of the handlebars (this is a balance bike for a small child, and we don’t want their hands slipping off the end).

Finally, fillet the sharp edges on the handlebar grip and apply whatever material you like.

Balance Bike Design

For the bike body, start by using the polyline tool to sketch the profile of the body, and extrude the sketch to the desired thickness.  Remember to take into account the height of the rider, and to leave a flat space on the top of the body for a seat.

Once you have finished sketching and extruding the body, move it into position, fillet the sharp edges, and apply whatever material you like.

Last but not least, design the seat.  You’ll want it to line up with that flat space you left on the body.

First, use a polyline to create a sketch of the seat. Tweak the sketch until you’re happy with the shape of the seat, and then extrude the sketch to your desired thickness.

Next, hide the sketch, fillet the sharp edges on the seat, and apply the materials.

Lastly, make sure the seat is in place and aligned, and group all the parts. Once you’ve created your custom balance bike plans, there are a few different choices of assembly.

Depending on your design, you can make a something like a Schwinn balance bike very cheaply using recycled or salvaged building materials.