Technical Articles

“Planet’s Best Folding Bike” Being Manufactured With a LASERDYNE® 430

According to their website, the Helix goal is clear – “to make the best folding bikes on the planet”.

Helix foldable bicycle

Section of Helix foldable bicycle frame fabricated from laser cut titanium tubing.

Beyond creating a novel product, Helix has made the bold move to automate its manufacturing from the onset to meet the demands for cost, quality, and consistency.

During 2017, Helix purchased a LASERDYNE 430 BeamDirector (430BD) Fiber Laser Machining System. The system, which is installed at Helix’s manufacturing headquarters in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is being used to bevel-cut titanium tubing used throughout the bicycle.

Prima Power Laserdyne Applications Engineers worked closely with Helix to develop the manufacturing process. The aim from the start was to ensure a high quality and repeatable laser cutting process. The steeply beveled edges of the titanium tubing require precision and clean, spatter free cuts.

Partnering for a robust manufacturing solution

“To meet these challenging beveled angles, there are several unique capabilities within the fiber laser system that Helix has acquired”, reported Corey Hansen, Regional Sales Manager for Prima Power Laserdyne.

Prima Power Laserdyne 430

A 6-axis LASERDYNE 430 BeamDirector with high power fiber laser performs precision, bevel cutting of titanium tubing.

“For example, the LASERDYNE 430BD system includes a horizontally mounted rotary table with a through-bore chuck to accurately process these tubes. Beveled cuts up to 45⁰ from the surface and the material type (titanium) present unique challenges, all of which the LASERDYNE 430BD is able to successfully overcome.

Integrated control of the fiber laser and motion provided LASERDYNE application engineers the capability to develop a robust and repeatable manufacturing process for cutting the titanium tubes.”

According to Peter Boutakis, Helix CEO, “Addition of this machine allows us to align with and enhance our drive towards a smaller, lighter, safer, and easier-to-use foldable bike. The LASERDYNE 430BD is a critical aspect of our manufacturing process and the LASERDYNE team showed a strong willingness to partner towards the goal of producing a high quality laser cut on the Helix bike tubes.”

“The LASERDYNE team showed a strong willingness to partner towards the goal of producing a high quality laser cut

Boutakis continued by commenting “Laserdyne developed this process where many other laser manufacturers failed in the past. Titanium is the only material for a folding bike that is lightweight, durable, and can last forever. This 6-axis LASERDYNE 430BD is fast, flexible, and provides the high quality cut that we need to, in-turn, produce a high quality product for our customers.”

For more information

Check out the video on the Helix Folding Bike YouTube channel to learn more about the Helix bike.

Helix foldable bicycle configurations

Helix foldable bicycle in folded (left) and ready-to-ride (right) configurations.

About Helix

Helix is a bicycle startup in Toronto, Canada. Helix’s goal is to make the best folding bikes on the planet. Helix boasts that the patent pending side-by-side folding design puts the wheels beside the frame and between the cranks. Helix was designed to go everywhere, whether it’s the subway, the trunk of your car, or a suitcase. World class engineering and analysis have gone into these bikes making Helix as light as possible without compromising everyday durability. These bikes are proudly made in Canada using state of the art manufacturing processes.

For more information about Helix, please visit their website https://www.helix.ca/ or email hello@helix.ca.

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