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cross-pollination: 3D printed helmets?

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  • cross-pollination: 3D printed helmets?

    So the article linked at the end of this post showed up on my new tab page this evening, and is about bicycle helmets... however it makes me wonder, and invite discussion: at what point in technological development would you (if ever) consider using a 3D printed moto-helmet?
    My pronouns are she/hers.

    To ride is to live.

    There, and back again. (photos from the epic journey)

    '88 Hawk GT (Rekka)
    '07 Shadow 600 (Gremlin)

    '90 Hawk GT (Fireball/red-tailed hawk) RIP

  • #2
    It would take a lot of data to convince me that additive manufacturing processes for polymers can make something suitable for a motorcycle helmet.

    What ever it is, it would almost certainly have to be post-processed in a kiln and/or under pressure to remove the anisotropic material properties (i.e. the tendency for 3D printed stuff to be weaker in some directions). At that point ... You're basically right back where you started with traditional manufacturing.

    But it sure would be cool, and maybe we'll get there soon.

    Edit - after reading the article a bit more in depth and zooming in on the pics, it looks like they're using fdm (fused deposition machine) and intentionally taking advantage of the weaker bond between layers to engineer how the helmet breaks down in a crash. That's pretty clever. I could see their methods being combined with a composite outer shell for abrasion resistance making it's way in to a motorcycle helmet.

    So yeah, I'd wear one. Once it passes independent lab testing.
    Last edited by frinesi2; 04-12-2022, 11:11 PM.
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    • #3
      I mean, technically assuming it passed Snell, DOT and ECE 22.05 then there would be no clinical evidence that a 3D printed helmet is not as good as any other design.

      There are a lot of philosophies on what makes a good helmet, there are a lot of anecdotes, but realistically there is not that much controlled test data.

      In the end, I doubt a 3D printed helmet would have any advantage over existing materials. It would probably be heavier and more expensive than more conventional options. Maybe if processes improve…


      • #4
        Maybe for a bicycle but no thanks for a motorcycle.
        Brian - Richland, WA
        1991 Hawk GT


        • #5
          I'll stick with my helmets....
          Don't spend money and buy, spend time and learn.