Why folding helmets? Because we can. 3D printing enables avenues in design that were formerly impossible to build using traditional manufacturing techniques. We call it “the born not built” philosophy and believe that Additive Manufacturing (AM) will revolutionize the way we conceptualize and create next generation products. It is with this intent that we are investing in a platform that would enable make, manage, move, market and maintain (our 5 Ms) to appropriately charter the progression of next generation products and services.
Utilizing 3D printing and other state-of-the-art technologies, AM not only enables smart manufacturing but also providing for customized products at scale:
- AM reduces product development lead times and provides geometric freedom, part consolidation, and design individuality.
- AM can account for complexities because of its ability to create geometries and designs that cannot be created using conventional subtractive manufacturing methods.
However, the emergence of this new technology has imposed new challenges on the engineer:
- behavior of the materials used in manufacturing additively manufactured parts where both the part and the material are composed simultaneously.
- consistency from one manufacturing run to another, the amount of post-processing required before printed items can be used, and
- the cost of the raw materials the printers use
Effective collaboration between Engineering and Manufacturing is a critical step to remaining competitive in the era of Industry 4.0 and IoT, and its Human/Customer Centric evolution to the next iteration.
Numorpho Cybernetic Systems is firmly committed to enabling automation by engineering, coordinating and harmonizing processes across the value chain of product development, and validating them by building smart and connected products and services.
Albeit we are not a products company, our products will serve to prove and improve our Mantra M5 platform. We will also be exploring interesting monetization avenues for our products by bundling it with data driven services and other new wave ecommerce techniques.
We would like to thank mHUB and its extended ecosystem of mentors, staff, members, industrial designers, contractors, and SMEs for their help and support, MxD for its workshop on Additive Manufacturing and the City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J Daley College for the Advanced Manufacturing course in providing assistance for this.
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The Armadillo Hoodie – Numorpho’s Retractable Helmet. Our first of many products that we will be creating using Additive Manufacturing technologies:
In this project we utilize the tenets in Additive Manufacturing – Generative Design, 3D-printing and Design for Manufacturability accomplish what we term “Born not Built”.
As part of our projects in the micro-mobility space, a helmet that would neatly fold into a form factor that could be easily carried around will be our first product to establish this new sense of freedom and mobility after having been constrained in movement due to the COVID pandemic. The foldability aspect of the helmet would facilitate:
- Shipment – You can ship more helmets in the same volume.
- Warehouse storage space – Your storage space is reduced
- Usability aspect – You can easily fold the helmet to make it less clunky for carrying it around.
The prime directive of this project is to achieve the minimal optimized shape goals of foldability that adhere to compliance requirements. Parametric modeling is a theme that runs across the spine of this project. Additionally, being customizable and 3D printed using Additive Manufacturing technologies will mitigate supply chain issues and make it more customer centric in function.
Using a unique design principle that conforms to all conditions of foldability, we have designed a baseplate that can morph into a head form (procured by scanning) to create multiple folding patterns – the roti, the pita, the hoodie (this) and the rotor each of which was CADed with appropriate living hinges to enable print in place mechanisms to enable the retractions.
To test the design, we have printed it on a variety of 3D printers – ANYCUBIC, CREALITY 3D Printers, @Prussa, @Dremel, LulzBot, Stratasys, and will be doing it on industrial grade printers like Markforged, Desktop Metal and other AM technologies.
Beyond this prototype stage, we plan to have variants for hard hats, industrial use helmets, bicycle helmets and other uses that would comply with all the regulations and standards and be tested for strength and durability utilizing tools from Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence (NASTRAN, ADAMS, DIGIMAT, etc.) and looking at advances in Materials technology (ICME and real testing).
Albeit our focus is to enable process automation, our products such as these would help us prove and improve the platform elements and the ecosystem we are building to enable as we call it the art of the possible by coupling it with the science of engineering.