When Frenchman Eugène Meyer invented the high wheel (or penny farthing) bicycle back in 1869, little did he know that, aside from providing a chance to show off, his creation would pose a dangerous risk of headers and face plants to riders around the world.
Attempts to swap out the large and small wheels front to back and moving the seat to various locations failed to mitigate the danger, but the inherent instability of the design failed to discourage urban, well-heeled men from displaying their wealth, leisure time and talent atop the strange machines.
The fashion standards of the day called for some sort of head gear for men riding their bikes on the high street, and that gear was often a fashionable bowler hat. The bowler was stylish, but it was not particularly useful in mitigating the effects of a face-first crash from altitude and at speed.
And so as bicycle technology advanced toward more skull-friendly designs, the high-wheeler fell by the wayside.
While the high-wheeler became a victim of the past, some historically-minded riders have never let go. Enter “Swedish aristocrat and gentleman” Per Kristav.
Kristav, who has a Master’s Degree in Sociology with a focus on culture, is also fascinated with practical philosophy, ethnology, anthropology and freelance product design. A man interested in how people use products to manifest themselves, he’s also intrigued at the way people “create lifestyles, identities and how products reinforce ideological views.” In his quest to understand how everyday products influence behavior and create the perception of well-being, Kristav, a Lecturer at Lund University, decided it might be a gas to accessorize his penny farthing bicycle with a turn toward the fashion of the past.
To make it happen, Kristav turned to 3D printing to create the one accessory every proper, high-wheeling gentleman would require, a bowler hat. But this hat needed to serve a utilitarian purpose as well as a sartorial goal – it needed to function as a bicycle helmet.
So Kristav enlisted Olaf Diegel, a Professor of Mechatronics at Lund University. Diegel has gained notoriety of late by making artfully crafted, 3D printed guitars. Diegel has been using 3D printing for nearly 20 years, and his experience lets him understand the process well enough to use it when it gives him “creative advantages.”
“The fact that it allows me to make extremely complex shapes – shapes I couldn’t make any other way – is a feature I use in all my 3D printed work,” Diegel says.
Diegel says the challenge was to create a helmet that was capable of expressing style and providing safety, so he used an existing low profile bicycle helmet as a jumping off point to build a 3D printed bowler dome which could be clipped over the top the classic bowler. The final product uses a felt brim from an existing bowler hat.
Diegel began the design process by taking a 3D scan of the bicycle helmet with a 3D Systems Sense scanner, and then built a CAD model of the bowler hat shape in Solidworks. The pair of CAD models were then combined with Materialise Magics software, and the 3D scan file was subtracted from the CAD file. That left a 3D model of the bowler hat which was output with selective laser sintering via an EOS Formiga P110 machine. It was glued onto the helmet, and voilà!
Diegel’s work was done at the Lund University Idea 2 Product Lab, and the bowler helmet would surely have saved Eugène Meyer the occasional bump on the noggin.
What do you think of this bowler hat-styled helmet created by Per Kristav and Olaf Diegel? You can let us know in the 3D Printed Bowler Helmet forum thread on 3DPB.com.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and receive information and offers from third party vendors.
You May Also Like
3D Printing News Briefs, July 19, 2023: Local Motors IP Acquisition, Pizza Delivery, & More
We’re starting with materials in today’s 3D Printing News Briefs, as parts made with Arkema’s bio-based Pebax(R) Rnew(R) elastomeric materials are now available from Erpro 3D Factory. On to business...
Xtellar: Braskem Spins off 3D Printing Materials Division into New Business
With $14 billion in revenues, Brazil’s Braskem is the largest petrochemical company in Latin America and the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas, particularly polypropylene (PP). The giant has taken...
Filtration Leader 3D Prints Critical Wastewater Screens with HP’s MJF
As additive manufacturing (AM) makes its way from aerospace into general industry and society at large, the flow may begin to shift from a trickle to a raging rapid. A...
3D Printing News Unpeeled: Dior, Botter and Rains 3D Print Shoes at Paris Fashion Week
Danish brand Rains has made a 3D printed TPU shoe together with Zellerfeld. Zellerfeld is a shoe 3D Printing service. Meanwhile Dior made a powder bed fusion cellular shoe out...
Upload your 3D Models and get them printed quickly and efficiently.