Essentium Inc., together with Texas A&M University, today announced The Essentium 3D Printed Scooter Helmet of the Future Challenge. Twenty high school juniors and seniors attending Aggie STEM Summer Camp as part of the STEM Honors Program participated in the challenge to design a helmet that can overcome reasons not to wear protective headgear while scooting – such as size, weight, strength and cost; and can be mass produced using industrial-scale additive manufacturing technology – commonly known as 3D printing.
Scooter adoption has grown at a phenomenal rate across U.S. cities. There are already around 14,000 dockless electric scooters on the streets of Austin alone. While a convenient means of getting around, many scooter riders do not wear a helmet resulting in some 32,000 estimated injuries nationwide. Helping solve this issue demands fresh thinking, diverse perspectives, creativity and innovation. The Helmet of the Future challenge was designed to bring these elements together to create a prototype of a fully 3D printed scooter helmet. The challenge required students to design a lightweight and flexible helmet that combined both protection and comfort for scooter users.
The winning design has now been judged, and the winning team will work with Essentium scientists and engineers to create a prototype of their design using the Essentium High Speed Extrusion (HSETM) 3D Printing Platform – a platform that brings industrial-scale 3D printing to the factory floor.
Blake Teipel, CEO and Co-founder of Essentium: “The evolution of products such as scooter helmets are hindered by the traditional injection molding process which forces designers to compromise on aspects such as flexibility, breathability, and weight. This challenge gave students a unique opportunity to broaden their knowledge of how 3D printing enables product innovation with the potential for positive, real-world impact. These students will be the designers and engineers of our future. It is a privilege to be part of their curriculum.”
Katherine N. Vela, Summer Camp Director: “Aggie STEM from the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University was proud to partner with Essentium to provide students with a challenge that represented a real-world exercise. Through this challenge, students had access to some of the world’s leading minds in additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Participating in the challenge stretched the students’ minds around tackling a real-world problem. Furthermore, it helped them prepare for the future workplace by affording them the opportunity to learn about the technology of tomorrow and work collaboratively with a team.”
Essentium, Inc. provides industrial 3D printing solutions that are disrupting traditional manufacturing processes by bringing product strength and production speed together, at scale, with a no-compromise engineering material set.