The California start-up KAV is flaunting its latest 3D printed R1 bike helmet, which follows the company’s original 3D printed custom helmet for ice hockey that was launched last year.
The KAV R1 was developed using a combination of additive manufacturing, material science and software, offering cyclists a custom solution for optimal head protection. Compared to conventional foam helmets, the R1 is slimmer, resulting in reduced drag while also providing more coverage in a lightweight design. But, perhaps its most standout feature is that it’s made-to-measure.
According to KAV, customers are sent a fit kit, wherein they submit a series of measurements. From there, the company’s machine learning algorithm generates a virtual model of the customer’s head to base the helmet’s sizing on, followed by the use 3D printing technology and hand finishing.
“Despite a market where every aspect of the cycling from gearing to saddle position is tuned for maximum performance, cyclists have had to settle for a few sizes fits all mentality to protect the most important part of the body,” said Whitman Kwok, CEO of KAV. “The KAV R1 continues our tradition of creating a helmet that’s uncompromising in performance and protection, made possible by our made-to-measure fabrication technology. My KAV replaces and bests my previous aero helmet and my vented road helmet while the additional occipital coverage is perfect for providing extra protection for my gravel adventures.
The 3D printed R1 is based on KAV’s hex-based compression structure, which is designed to maximize airflow around the head as well as absorb impact. This structure is similar to the one used in the brand’s hockey helmet, but it’s been optimized for cycling.
Specifically, the energy management system is designed to minimize the linear and angular accelerations of cycling accidents, as compared to the hockey helmet that’s designed to protect against multiple impacts.
Additionally, the R1 is made using FDM 3D printing and a new proprietary polymer, which is more lightweight than the KAV hockey helmet, resulting in better absorption for higher velocity impacts associated with cycling.
The KAV R1 is currently being offered through a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter, offering early-backers special incentives if goals are met.
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