Additive Manufacturing Strategies

HALO, the “World’s First 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Wallet,” Hits Kickstarter Starting at $42

ST Medical Devices

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“She works hard for the money, so hard for it, honey….. She works hard for the money, so you better treat her right!”

Perhaps you are like me, and you fell victim to getting this Donna Summer song stuck in your head when it debuted in the early 1980s. Or perhaps you are young enough not to remember it at all. Regardless though, we all pretty much work hard for our money, unless of course you came across some lucky inheritance. With this in mind, what better way to protect that hard earned cash than to store it in a carbon fiber wallet? Yes, that’s right, I did say carbon fiber!

halo7Thanks to a man named Chad Barrett, the Mark One 3D Printer from MarkForged, and The 3D Printing Store in Denver, Colorado, this has actually become a real product.

Chad Barrett has hit Kickstarter with his innovative HALO Wallet, a wallet that is 3D printed on a Mark One 3D printer using carbon fiber strands to provide it with an extremely lightweight feel, while also exhibiting metal-like strength properties.

“I was at a trade show in January of 2015 when I first laid eyes on the Mark One 3D printer by MarkForged,” Barrett explains. “I was amazed and very intrigued by what I saw. A 3D printer that was printing continuous strands of fiber inside nylon, creating extremely strong parts that are very light. As I was standing there, I said out loud to myself ‘that thing is So Cool!'”

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Cool may just be an understatement, as I have had the chance to witness the Mark One 3D printer in action several times, and never walked away unimpressed. Upon first seeing the 3D printer in action, Barrett knew that it would be perfect for creating various prototypes within various industries, but what he wanted to come up with was an idea for creating end-use products with the machine.

“Then it came to me! A 3D printed minimalist wallet,” says Barrett. “I would not only have something that no one else has but it would be functional, simple and nearly zero waste in the manufacturing process.”

Since Barrett’s first meeting with the Mark One in January, he has been designing, iterating upon and forming a business plan around his HALO wallet, for which he just launched a Kickstarter campaign on July 20. He spent countless hours trying to come up with the best design for the 3D printed wallet itself as well as the securing mechanism that would hold your money and credit cards in place.

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For the securing mechanism, he first began testing various elastic and silicone bands to see which option would be the best for his creation. He then stumbled across the Ranger Band by Gearward, and he realized he had found the final piece to his puzzle.

“What sets the Gearward Ranger Band apart from any other minimalist wallet band is they are made out of double-thick EPDM rubber, and designed specifically for functioning in the outdoors,” Barrett says. “EPDM has a working temperature from -50 to 300 degrees [F], so it works well with water, and does not break down from exposure to sunlight the way normal rubber bands do. They’re the toughest rubber bands available.”

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The Kickstarter campaign will run until August 22. If the funding goal of $2,500 is reached, early backers should have their their HALO wallets shipped to them this coming September, with later backers receiving theirs in the months to follow. Early backers can get their hands on this wallet for just $42, with the maximum price set at $62 for those funding the campaign a little later on.

As for the specifications of this wallet, Barrett outlines them below:

  • Engineered with Very Strong Nylon
  • 6 Total Layers of Carbon Fiber for Exceptional Rigidity
  • Nylon will not scratch other items in your pocket or purse
  • Nylon will not hurt your credit cards
  • Extremely Lightweight – HALO and Ranger Band together weigh in at only 0.5 oz.
  • HALO is wet sanded by hand after being manufactured to remove minor imperfections
  • All HALO’s come off the printer in classic white color. Rit dye is used to color the nylon.

What do you think about this unique new wallet? Is it something you would pay $42-$62 to get your hands on? After all you did work hard for your money, didn’t you? Let us know what you think, and if you backed this campaign in the HALO 3D Printed Carbon Fiber Wallet Forum thread on 3DPB.com.  Check out the campaign video below.

https://d2pq0u4uni88oo.cloudfront.net/projects/1961486/video-559207-h264_base.mp4

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