There have been a number of improvements to helmet safety lately, but one thing has remained mostly constant – the EPS foam liners. Sure, some companies are using multiple densities of EPS foam or combining with EPP foam for multi-impact protection, but an energy absorbing foam layer has been a part of bicycle helmet design for ages. Kupol is trying something different. Much different.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

Thanks to the use of 3D printing, Kupol says that they have been able to create helmet structures not previously possible with traditional manufacturing methods. That has allowed them to create what they call the Kollide Safety System – a three layer sandwich of safety and comfort. On the ouside of the helmet you have the shell which covers the Kinetic Bumpers (above, green). These softer outer bumpers help absorb impact before it reaches the middle 3D Kore.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

The Kore is printed to be both light, and structurally sound but in a way that will collapse in a controlled manner during a crash. This Kore also allows for a unique aeration ability since the structure has tiny air holes throughout – which makes the whole thing ventilated, not just the vents.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

Then, on the inside there are over 100 Oktopus pods which are flexible pods that conform to your head shape, supposedly for a comfortable fit. The three layers work together to absorb impacts while also mitigating rotational forces in a breathable, comfortable way.

Kupol says that their helmet has passed the CPSC/CE impact testing, but they point out that it can’t be certified until they have pre-production units in hand. And since the helmets are being launched through Kickstarter, it seems that it won’t be fully certified until the Kickstarter is successful and they have the ability to start production.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

Since the helmets will be 3D printed, Kupol is able to offer more shell sizes since all it takes is a different file, not different molds. In total, six sizes will be available covering a wide range of head shapes.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

Currently, there is one model planned with a removable visor. Presumably, the 3D printing aspect would allow them to easily change the design for different versions in the future. At this point, no weights are provided.

The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety The first 3D printed helmet from Kupol puts a new spin on comfort & safety

Offered in multiple colors, helmets start at the early bird pledge price of $155, and then will go up to $234, with a final retail price expected to be around $310. Delivery isn’t expected until June 2019, which is a pretty long time to be without a helmet – but if you’re already riding you probably have one that will work in the mean time.

kupol.ca

kickstarter.com

6 COMMENTS

  1. It looks promising. I enjoy seeing new production methods. A big missing piece to me is the lack of measurable advantages being explained. If I were to go to a totally new piece of safety gear, I like to see a little bit of data on what it does in an impact vs a traditional foam. Can it take multiple impacts? How does it do at low speed compared to foam? The little animation is cool, but how is it better ? Also, what is the weight? Does it dispel heat better, them how much better and in what circumstances. I know lots of helmet companies give questionable data about aerodynamics, but that would be more welcome info and comparison. Looks cool to me, but very sparse on actual information.

  2. Interesting & promising technology…I would suspect that this is just the start of where helmet tech is heading within the industry.

  3. Cool engineering, and if there is anywhere where we should be focusing resources, it’s helmet tech. Aesthetics are a little “meh”, particularly with the visor, but I’d rock it with no visor if the protection was demonstrably better. I agree with the above poster regarding the need for comparative testing if they really want to sell this design vs. other cheaper better looking models. They need G force data comparing it to conventional construction, and if they are too risk averse to publish it themselves, due to the whole safety claim lawsuit thing, then they need to get those awesome peeps at the University of Virginia to add this helmet to their testing list.

    Oh, and 6 sizes is awesome! I still rue the day that Giro eliminated their M/L sized models. I’ve been stuck between their M and L sizes ever since…a real Goldilocks dilemma with no 3rd option.

  4. A very interesting concept. Pulls in aspects of MIPS and possible extra safety features. I like the extra 6 sizes – I do feel that is something that gets left behind by many brands – fit.

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