Joe Townsend


Discover how Paralympian Joe Townsend uses Markforged 3D printers to create end-use parts for his adaptive bike for the Paralympics. Interested to find out how your company can benefit in the same way? Contact us using the button below.


Triathlete Joe Townsend has raced in the Paralympics, World Championships, Ironmans and Invictus Games and won a large number of medals along the way! As with all professional athletes they are looking to enhance performance any way they can. Joe turned to 3D printing to see how he could use this to “strive for physical and mechanical perfection”. He found several problems with current equipment on the market, which ultimately led him to look at producing bespoke adaptive parts in house. Joe had previous experience with 3D printing bespoke parts but found that he needed to be able to produce considerably stronger parts. With the need to produce high strength, high quality custom parts Joe’s search pointed towards Markforged 3D printing.

Joe Townsend's Custom Adaptive Bike

3D Printed Custom Bike Parts


Initially Joe looked to adapt the handgrips used by Paralympic triathletes to pedal the bikes. As the riders are putting a large amount of force through the handles it is important that these are not only strong but need to fit perfectly in the athletes hand so quality is critical. Further issues such as shoulder injuries again as a result of the large amount of repeated force going through his shoulders led to him redesigning the bike cranks So that they are positioned in the precise locations for his shoulders allowing him to generate as much power through the cranks as possible without causing injury.


After various testing it was found that carbon fibre reinforced parts were the ideal solution for providing the strength and quality required. 3D printing enables him to produce, test and refine the parts to ensure they fit his and his customers’ needs perfectly with no need for expensive tooling or upfront costs. Using the Markforged Mark Two Joe is able to produce bespoke parts with a better strength to weight ratio than aluminium.

Custom handgrips 3D printed on a Markforged
Custom handgrips 3D printed on a Mark Two

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