Blizzard is aimed primarily at skiing and snowboard enthusiasts. As extreme sports, skiing and snowboarding are both fairly dangerous and serious injuries often occur. Therefore, having good equipment that can improve safety is essential. Blizzard contains a chip that allows for GPS tracking. This could be critical in the event of a fall, becoming lost, or an avalanche, as the wearer could be found much more quickly than normal. In the freezing conditions that skiers often face, this is essential. In addition, Blizzard has a built in high-speed camera that can record spectacular moments with incredible clarity and detail. However, the most unique aspect of Blizzard is its drone support. A recording drone is stored inside the helmet and can take off and land there at any time.
On receiving the drawings from the client, the first thing for the ProtoFab team to decide was whether to go with CNC machining or 3D printing. It was decided quickly that 3D printing was clearly the best solution. Traditional CNC requires a full design breakdown, programming, NC, and other complex and time-consuming tasks. This ordinarily leads to high costs. On the other hand, 3D printing is a much simpler process giving much shorter lead times. For a project such as this one where the helmet doesn't need to be able to support a huge amount of weight, 3D printing is particularly well-suited.
For this project the finishing was crucial. The polishing and painting had to be just right to achieve the look the client requested. The design has a number of protruding areas and is made up of four colors - matte black, glossy black, glossy orange, and metallic grey. This presents challenges for our experienced team with regards polishing and achieving a perfect contrast between the different colors.
Because this model could be printed directly as a single piece, all that was required was for our technical specialists to run the drawings through software and add all the necessary support structures. These keep the model stable during printing and prevent any potential collapses, and also mean it is possible to print the entire model in one go, rather than having to split it up into sections.
Once printing was complete, we carefully removed the model and washed it with alcohol. This was to remove any liquid material that might have been left behind during printing. Next, we had to remove the supports. This has to be done very carefully so as not to leave any markings on the final model. Below is the model with all the supports removed.
Applying the Top Coat
Getting the color of the paint just right is critical for achieving the look the client requested. Our team had to use all of their experience to ensure a perfect color division and a completely even shade. The image below shows our technician comparing the paint with the color card provided by the client.
This project lasted for 3 days, and we were personally very happy with how it turned out. After delivery the client was also very pleased, particularly with the colors and the quality of the finishing. If you'd like to learn more about the 3D printing solutions offered by ProtoFab and how they can be applied to different industries, or you have a project similar to the one described here, don't hesitate to get in touch!
After the varnish had dried, all that was left was for a final round of polishing to achieve as eye-catching a look as possible.
We are one of the first Protofab branches in the world. We have recently launched our first showroom in Norway, and currently are also opening a branch in Poland. We can be reached from all over Northern Europe, a short distance from Sandefjord Airport (Near Oslo).