With the development of mobile phone 3D scanning technology, a new blue ocean market for personal consumer goods 3D printing is expected to emerge.3D printed custom insole, 3D printed custom glasses, have begun to show a strong market potential.The following 3D-printed helmet is also likely to be a hit.
On July 13, 2020, Polar Bear learned from foreign media that HEXR, a protective clothing specialist, with the help of Germany’s leading powder bed 3D printer manufacturer EOS, has launched a new head-scanning software that allows users to customize 3D printed bicycle helmets.The Scan-to-Print platform is intended to be a flexible and decentralized production system that enables customization while ensuring product safety.The application was developed with the support of Siemens and materials specialist Arkema.
The HEXR Fitting app works like this: Customers around the world scan their heads using the phone’s built-in camera (aided by AR and HEXR’s special hats).The scanned data is uploaded to the app and then printed on industrial-grade EOS systems a 3D model of the helmet lining that matches the head shape.The materials used are plant-based polyamides produced by Arkema.After printing, the lining is dyed black and a final check is made to ensure structural integrity and surface quality.
Delta iPhone can download the scanning software HEXR Fitting App from the Apple Store
Generate customized helmet lining
Delta assembly becomes the final helmet
Finally, the various parts of the helmet were assembled, including the 3D-printed interior, casing, and chin strap.Customers can also choose to add a little extra decoration to the product, including personal engraving and various shell colors.Because the helmet is printed on demand, HEXR faces minimal upfront financing and overproduction risks, leaving the company to focus on improving the service.
“With the customized fit inherent in the 3D printing process, superior independent safety testing compared to traditional foam helmets, we are delivering significant improvements in helmet technology through 3D printing,” said Jamie Cook, HEXR’S CEO.
Delta HEXR helmet lining with honeycomb structure, image from HEXR
Reshaping sustainable Supply Chain
The lining is made entirely from renewable castor oil, derived from Arkema’s expertise.These bean plants grow for less than a year, do not compete with other foods, and do not cause deforestation.The material itself has excellent impact resistance and is relatively light in weight, especially when printed into the ingenious honeycomb structure devised by the HEXR.
Dr. Karsten Heuser, Vice President of Additive manufacturing at Siemens, concluded: “With the help of an end-to-end solution, we created a digital twin for an industrial additive manufacturing plant to help optimize design and simplify production processes before production begins.By combining simulation, design optimization, and production scenarios with a high degree of automation, we were able to predict and significantly reduce the cost per part, enabling HEXR to be scaled up for mass production.
HEXR’s partnership with EOS actually began in 2015, when EOS started providing support in the form of technical advice.Last year, both sides conducted final safety tests and announced that their helmets would begin shipping to customers.Since then, HEXR has successfully brought in more industrial partners and hopes to move to mass production and supply chain perfection.
As recently as July 2020, EOS and BASF received $1.37 million in funding to develop 3D-printed protective helmets for the ongoing NFL Helmet Challenge.Using innovative methods of manufacturing protective equipment, participating companies can create safer products while saving weight and cost, paving the way for new applications of 3D printing.
Compiled from 3Dprintingindustry