Oct 31, 2016 | By Tess

Anyone who uses a bicycle for transport will know how important it is to wear a bike helmet, as they can reduce the risk of head injury while biking by 80%. The same people will also know what a hassle it can be to always be lugging a helmet around on errands, or having to worry about locking it securely to your bike. Fortunately, thanks to a group of innovative designers and 3D printing, cyclists may have an alternative to the usual bulky helmets that are currently on the market: FEND.

FEND is a foldable bicycle helmet that can be worn as a regular helmet and then folded down to 1/3 of its original size when you take it off. Designed for the “urban commuter”, FEND is also visually quite appealing and offers a sleeker more minimalist alternative to some more flashy helmet styles. If you’re skeptical about how safe a cool looking helmet can be, don’t worry, the designers have ensured that the FEND foldable helmet is made to not only meet but exceed US CPSC and European EN 1078 safety standards.

The FEND bike helmet was conceived of by NY-based couple Sujene Kong and Christian Von Heifner, who set out to create a more convenient helmet design after Von Heifner suffered a bike collision. As the couple explained in a Vogue interview, after they accident all they could ask themselves was “Why don’t we wear helmets?”. With Kong’s experience in the fashion industry, and Von Heifner being an industrial designer and mechanical engineer, the two set about developing a solution.

3D printing played a crucial part in designing, prototyping, and manufacturing the helmet. As Von Heifner explained, “I have a 3D printer at the house and the software to develop the engineering side of it, so we had a working prototype within a week.” Now, in its final stages, the helmet features a hard exterior shell made of ABS plastic and is equipped with a multi-impact EPP liner, optimized for absorbing high impacts, as well as durable nylon straps which not only help reinforce impact absorption but also allow the helmet to fold up. When FEND is expanded into its full helmet shape, the design also has streamlined vents, which according to the designers help improve comfort and ventilation.

The FEND collapsible helmet is currently being featured through a Kickstarter campaign which has already far surpassed its goal of $40,000. The crowdfunding campaign, which runs until November 4th, still has a variety of backer rewards available, including a FEND helmet in either black or white for $89 ($30 less than it’s expected retail price). The money from the Kickstarter will allow the FEND team to put their product into production by funding the tooling and manufacturing costs.

Early bird backers can expect their rewards by May 2017, while the second production run for regular backers will be shipped as of July 2017. All final safety certifications will be conducted after production.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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zetetikhos wrote at 11/21/2016 10:56:17 AM:

I think - as a specialist - that this product wouldn't pass the standard CPSC tests.

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