As we begin picking up the pieces from the COVID pandemic, commuting and mobility is being re-assessed to conform to the new norm. Personal commuting using e-Bikes is becoming more prevalent and adjacent products are being introduced that would need ideation, analysis, and engineering to understand the future needs of persnal safety and connectivity. This could also extend to re-exploring weekends outdoors and visits to downtown in urban settings without using local transportation or hailing cabs.A bike 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. New additive manufacturing techniques will use 3D printers to produce helmet shells and liners and will eventually produce complete helmets. They have the potential to replace foam in high-end helmets. Each helmet will be printed individually, giving rise to the ability to make a custom helmet fitted to an individual rider’s head.This article is our MVP based progression of a unique case of a folding helmet, manufactured using advanced engineering that would be produced in custom mass scale and available in different types – from hard hats, industrial helmets, military use, bicycle helmets and others.
We know people may blow off foldable helmets as being an unnecessary product, but when you actually think about it, a helmet that can fit in a briefcase, backpack, or purse could have a huge market and lifestyle impact. Most people don’t leave the house with their bike helmet ‘just in case’ they might have a need for it; they’re too awkward and clunky and take up too much space for that. People who commute or leisurely cycle in urban environments often don’t wear a helmet when they are planning to ride; you can see there’s an issue. Having a helmet that occupies half the space or less, one that can easily fit in a briefcase, tote bag, or backpack, may encourage people to bring one and wear one. Making it totable also solves the tough choice of lugging around your own bulky helmet or leaving it exposed when locked up with your bike.
Though Numorpho does not consider itself a “products company” we do think it’s important, if not necessary, for our clients to see how effective our advanced engineering and product creation models truly are. As such, we chose to make a foldable helmet that would revolutionize the way people interact with this important piece of safety equipment.
Here are links to connected documentations for the project
- BACKGROUND – Utilizing Additive Manufacturing techniques would be how we plan to progress thru the evolution of the design for the folding helmet.
- DESIGN INTENT – This document discusses the basis for the folding helmet and the design considerations.
- MANIFESTO – To account for the should conditions – the functionality of the helmet, we have created an explicit manifesto that the design and engineering teams will use to conform to the features of the helmet.
- OUTCOME BASED ADAPTIVE ENGINEERING (OBAE) – Our thesis on design and engineering to encompass parametric modeling, generative design and actionable intelligence as the basis for poof-centered design for automated considerations using AI in the future.
- PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – This details the cataloging of the product data and the nomenclature of the design candidates. It will also evolve a unique code for each part with a serial production number so that parts can be tracked throughout its lifecycle – upstream, midstream and downstream.
- SMART HELMET SUMMARY – This discusses how we have embedded sensors into our helmets to enable smart monitoring using our CONNECT-DETECT-PROTECT theme.
- PRODUCT TESTING – Here we detail simulation and physical testing utilizing Ansys LS-Dyna, Markforged Teton and Virgina Tech’s Helmet Lab.
- MANUFACTURING CONSIDERATIONS – This document details our progression for design for manufacturability, contract small batch and large-scale manufacturing with specific considerations for materials.
- SUBMISSION TO THE 4REV AWARDS – PRODUCT DESIGN CATEGORY
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 and mathematics of engineering.
- A Short Repose into the World of 3D printing
- AM before pm – Our treatise on Additive Manufacturing.
- D3AMP MxD – The beginnings of the helmet design
- @Richard Daley Advanced Engineering Center – Validating the Design
- Armadillo Helmet Attestment 1
- Armadillo Helmet Attestment 2
- DoD Proposal – Response Armadillo Project B – Vanguard Well Being (PROTECTED)
We would like to thank mHUB and its ecosystem for having provided the right basis for the ideation, innovation and design of the folding helmet concept, MxD for having conducted the D3AMP course with additive manufacturing and generative design fundamentals taught by the team from Drexel University, and the Richard Daley Advanced Manufacturing center for helping validate the design on their various 3D printers.
In particular we would like to acknowledge the services provided by:
- Nana Arkorful for the initial CAD design in Autodesk Fusion360.
- The team from Aion Prosthetics – Josh Becker and Samuel Christianson for the progression to parametric design and animating the folding process.
- Nathan Peckus for his design of the Rotor Helmet variant.
- Tyler Grudowski for his help in designing the Armadillo Helmet and its futuring to various use cases using Dassault Systemes Solidworks.
There is still a lot to be done to make our helmet perfect. It will also form the basis for our smart and connected products to come. So lets band together to trip the light fantastic.
NI+IN UCHIL Founder, CEO & Technical Evangelist