Jan 13, 2016 | By Andre
Throughout many cities on earth, cyclists often have no choice but to share and ultimately compete with cars on busy roads. That's certainly the case where I’m from. Pushing through the daily commute on nothing but pedal power during rush-hour traffic is stressful for most, and simply not worth it for others. While sharing the streets with cars might feel like fighting on an uneven playing-field, there's one avid cyclist that has spent the greater part of the last few years bringing some confidence back to the nervous rider.
In late 2012, Boston native Jonathan Lansey launched a Kickstarter campaign that focused almost entirely on putting a car horn onto bicycles. The simple principal behind his idea is that people on bikes are safer if drivers can actually hear them. During his original campaign, he pondered that “drivers adapt really well to car horns,” so he thought, “why can’t I just get a car horn for my bike?”
It appears he wasn’t alone in his thinking. After aiming for $43,000 in pledges, it didn’t take long for his idea to beat his best estimate and rake in a total of $52,837 by its completion date. And while the campaign had its fair share of delays, the entire lot of his loud bicycle car horns shipped in 2015 to some very positive reviews.
Thinking back prior to those delays to the time when he utilized a uPrint FDM printer by Stratasys for his prototyping needs, he realized that he “was a novice then,” and that his team “had never really done this before.” As someone that has tracked many Kickstarter campaigns in the past, the process of scaling up from the prototype phase to large scale manufacturing always tends to be a bottleneck for the, what is often the cast, first-time product designers.
But the campaign did fund, Jonathan did deliver and he has since successfully funded the second iteration of his device, the Loud Mini Bicycle Horn. Coming in at half the weight but with all the original car horn's noise, the mini funded roughly $3,000 over the $25,000 campaign goal with deliveries expected as soon as May of 2016.
The device truly is all about safety. “When you yell, you’re like, ‘Did they hear me? Are the gonna listen?'" Jonathan would question before further suggesting that shouting also has the drawback of possibly escalating into altercations. “There’s no way to yell non-agressively.” Whereas a car horn is more neutral in terms of emotional perception, it remains very effective at the same time. “It’s embarrassing to get honked at—it’s a strong memory.”
Through his success, it seems as though he’s remained modest and entirely grounded as production of the mini gets underway. He already plans to release the 3D model for the mini’s removable front plate so riders can print their own in the colour of their choosing. “I don’t like patents as much as I like innovating, that’s just the way I like to change things.” He suggests while admitting he’s already 3D printed a glow-in-the-dark front plate for himself.
There are many cities around the world that have a very progressive network of bike-lanes keeping cars and cyclists on the divided roadways. Then there are cities where this progress is only now making inroads. For those, and for everyone else, the Loud Mini Bicycle horn seems like a solution to keep any nervous cyclist at ease while traversing those busy, often dangerously cramped, downtown streets.
Loud Mini Specs:
Loudness: 125 dB.
Water resistant, all-weather construction.
Weight: 0.9 lb (410 grams).
Battery life: 4 months.
Charging port: Mini USB.
Easy release mount with anti-theft bolt option.
Mounting is compatible with GoPro®.
Dimensions: 6x4x2.5 inches (15x10x6 cm).
Posted in 3D Printing Application
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