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Inside Out & Upside Down: UK Designer Uses 3D Printing to Re-Engineer the Umbrella

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Engineer and designer Jenan Kazim

Many have predicted that over time 3D printers will be used handily to facilitate making and replacing household items. While many kitchen and appliance accoutrements are currently being produced by 3D printers—and we see many amazing things produced in 3D printing competitions as well—we haven’t 3D printed an umbrella yet. It’s certainly on our minds though as the rainy season begins to loom over southwest Florida, home to 3DPrint.com headquarters.

Luckily, engineer Jenan Kazim has taken care of the work for us, in a genius manner. Not only is he going to save us from having terrifying rainy day hair (and wardrobe), but with the KAZbrella, which we reported on pre-Kickstarter, he offers entirely new utilitarian features for the umbrella—like engineering a way for us to avoid slopping rainwater all over the car once we’ve ironically made it that far without getting too wet. With a unique inverted system, the KAZbrella has now been launched on Kickstarter, featured as the ‘Revolutionary Inside Out Umbrella.’

835031e43c34da67f8489ae14c8e3f74_original (1)Kazim, who was born in Cyprus, but is a citizen of the UK, basically saw the whole contemporary umbrella design as wrong. With the latitude and versatility afforded in digital design and 3D printing, he was able to make parts and prototypes previously unheard of—as is this case in many innovations we report on.

“Once I see a design problem, I need to find a solution to it,” said Kazim. “I was at my mother-in-law’s house and as she walked in with the umbrella dripping all of the floor, I thought there is something fundamentally wrong with this design.”

You can check it out the amazing solution he came up with on Kickstarter, where Kazim is hoping to raise £25,000 (equivalent to roughly $38,350 USD) by June 1 for manufacturing, quality control, testing, and figuring out logistics for delivering the reverse folding umbrella.

Designed with quality by Kazim, who has a background in aeronautical and marine engineering, the reverse umbrella is not only cool in its truly revolutionary utilitarian design, but also in style, sporting a bespoke design (available to those who pledge £75 or more) that integrates the product logo into an Escher-like geometrical design.

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Kickstarter supporters can receive their own KAZbrellas for as little as a £35 pledge, which offers a reward for an early-bird discount on the classic black KAZbrella. As prices increase, more coloring offerings are offered, as well as the option for personalization at £95, and business packages at £450 or more.

Why might you need a KAZbrella? Here are several great reasons:

  • It’s drip-free, opening like a flower, instead of the traditional messy umbrella.
  • The canopy opens and closes even in confined spaces, while still not leaving a mess. You should be able to close it from even ‘the smallest gap of a car door’ during a storm or rains hower.
  • No longer a threat to putting out an eye, it is easy to open and close, and safer.
  • With double spokes, it’s not a problem if you are experiencing wind and the canopy is blown inside out. Unlike a cheap umbrella that would be completely ruined, with one click it reverts to its natural shape.

With intelligent, quality design, this new umbrella is a streamlined work of engineering based on mathematics and precision. The KAZbrella is made with a breathable fabric as well as a hydrophobic coating designed to allow raindrops to roll right off.

While Jenan Kazim is the brains and the engineering behind the KAZbrella itself, Kaz Designs is a tight-knit, family-owned business, with each member bringing their own expertise and talent to the firm.

Is this a product you are planning to support on Kickstarter? Tell us your thoughts in the 3D Printing to Re-engineer Umbrella forum thread over at 3DPB.com.

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