KAV R1 bike helmet is the latest to offer a 3D-printed custom fit
While cyclists can get away with jerseys, shorts or gloves that are a little tight or baggy, it's vitally important that their helmet fit correctly. The KAV R1 helmet was designed with this fact in mind, as each one is 3D-printed to the measurements of its wearer's head.
Currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the helmet was created by Redwood City, California-based KAV Sports. The company already manufactures a hockey helmet based on the same technology.
Assuming the R1 reaches production, buyers will initially receive a fit kit in the mail. In an online session with a KAV staffer, they will proceed to provide the company with all the necessary noggin measurements. The custom-fit helmet will subsequently be 3D printed and mailed to them.
Not only should the finished product be snug, comfortable and aerodynamic, but because it doesn't incorporate any unneeded extra material – including fit-adjustment hardware – it will reportedly also be quite lightweight. According to the company, even the largest of its helmets should tip the scales below 300 g (10.5 oz).
And because the lightness of the helmet does allow for some extra considerations in its design, the back of it has been extended farther down than is the case with many other models, to protect the occipital region of the brain.
The weight-savings aren't just due to the customized fit, however. Instead of traditional EPS foam, the helmet's liner takes the form of an open honeycomb matrix, made of a proprietary thermoplastic elastomer. KAV Sports claims that this material is both lighter than EPS foam and better at attenuating impact forces. And as an added benefit, air easily flows through it, providing more ventilation than traditional vents.
Should you be interested, pledge levels for the KAV R1 bike helmet start at US$275 – the planned retail price is $375. If everything works out, shipping should take place in November.
And perhaps not surprisingly, this isn't the world's first 3D-printed bike helmet. Although the Kupol didn't reach its crowdfunding goal, the British-made Hexr is now available, priced at £299 (about US$423).
There's more information on the R1 in the following video.
Sources: Kickstarter, KAV Sports
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