When Izhar Gafni had a dream for a product, he was told that it would never work.
He was laughed at by engineers, designers, friends, and skeptics. He was told there was no way to make a bicycle out of cardboard.
He pressed on with his efforts and finally achieved success. Yes, Israeli Izhar Gafni created a bicycle made up of $9 worth of materials, primarily cardboard. And yes, it works.
According to Geek.com, the $9 Cardboard Bicycle functions like a traditional bike.
The composition is cardboard and a shiny coating material to protect the cardboard from rain, wind, and snow. It is possible that Gafni’s design could be produced for mass consumption.
The motivation for Gafni to design a bicycle out of cardboard came from his enthusiasm for bikes and seeing a cardboard canoe created by an inventor. Gafni felt that if a canoe could be made from cardboard and function, why couldn’t a bicycle work as well.
“I really love bicycles, and when I worked in the United States I inquired in California to see if anyone has already thought of the concept of a cardboard bicycle. To my delight, I only discovered similar concepts based on bamboo,” explained Gafni. “But when I started asking engineers about the possibility of producing a cardboard bicycle, I was sent away and told that the realization of my idea is impossible. One day I was watching a documentary about the production of the first jumbo jet – and an engineer on the team had said that when everyone tells him that what he is doing is impossible – it makes it even clearer to him that he is progressing in the right direction. That saying motivated me to experiment with different materials on cardboard, to find what produces the desired strength and durability.”
Gafni explains that with his initial rough prototype, it was hard to convince any investors.
“My first prototypes looked like delivery boxes on wheels. They were hefty and it didn’t take much imagination to see that they were made of cardboard. When I met with investors it was difficult to explain my ultimate vision with the bikes, which led me to understand that I need to devote more time towards developing a more comfortable design, lighter and more impressive.”