This post combines three things I like: 3D printing, cycling, and Creative Commons licences.
One of the joys of a Brompton folding bike is the folding bit. And the clamp system is both clever and robust.
But the clamps have a nasty habit of spinning on the bolt, which makes them that bit more difficult than is ideal when it comes to unfolding the bike.
The EZ Clamp Spring
I was pondering what I could do about it, and looking around to see what others have done, and a chap called Steve Wood (Gyrobot) has solved it with a very simple 3D printable widget: the EZ Clamp Spring.
It exerts pressure on the clamp, keeping it in the right orientation.
It's a perfect solution to the problem.
Print or buy: it's up to you
You can either print it yourself, or buy a pre-printed version ready to install.
Normally, I'd print a model myself, but the creator suggests a particular type of filament, which is more flexible than the filament I have to hand (and I'm not sure my printer would cope with it anyway), so I bought a couple.
Shipping times are obviously not under their control (especially at the moment), but mine arrived very quickly.
If you want to print it yourself, you can download the files from Thingiverse.
Installation could not be easier
Dead easy — about a minute per clamp.
You simply remove the clamp and bolt, thread the EZ Clamp Spring onto the bolt, and then screw it back in place. That’s it.
Once you've installed it, you can see the benefit of it immediately: when up undo the clamp, it stays in exactly the right place, ready to be tightened.
A surprising choice of licence?
The 3D printing files are licensed under a Creative Commons licence (great!), but not the one I would have expected.
The inclusion of the "NC" — non-commercial — restriction is not unexpected, but the "ND" — a prohibition on tweaking the file — surprised me.
I'd have thought that improvements would have been welcome, but I'm not the copyright owner, so it's not my choice!