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SAIT Polytechnic Design Team Reverse Engineers & 3D Prints Daft Punk Helmet in Teachable Moments Program

by • January 14, 2016 • No Comments

SAITPolytechnic_2CLuckily for 3D printing enthusiasts of late, the Daft Punk duo graduated of wearing trash bags on their heads quite a few time ago. These French Grammy winning musicians have created themselves known not just simply by their now ubiquitous dance tunes but in addition by their futuristic head gear, which lately appears to be quite inspiring at the 3D printer.

Meant not just simply just simply to hide their faces so which they aren’t constantly barraged by fans, the French duo, created up of Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo, in addition employ the helmets and overall robot costumes as a a fewwhat philosophical way to mix fictional and real personas.

Now, taking a look at the Daft Punk helmets and the reality of how difficult they might be to fabricate, the Design, Fabrication and Testing research team at SAIT Polytechnic tried their hand at reverse engineering the headpiece worn by Guy-Manuel. Giving cred to the Daft Punk design team–they discovered which this certainly was no simple feat–over a two-month stretch.


Researcher Emerson Burns attempting on the helmet after it was painted. (Photo credit: SAIT Polytechnic)

While producing pop star paraphernalia was certainly part of the end goal, this project was meant to enhance the team’s competence set in terms of 3D printing, rapid prototyping, and surface modeling. And which it did. They had to be quite resourceful just simply to get the correct initial design going, duly challenged of square one.

“The helmet was difficult to model. When we reverse engineer a fewthing, we usually have a physical part to work of. Since we didn’t have a helmet, we looked on the Internet for high-resolution pictures and videos,” explained researcher Emerson Burns. “We imported the best front and side photos into SOLIDWORKS and created our model of there, referencing other photos for accuracy. Once conclude, we broke the model into pieces for 3D printing.”

If you compare the visors between Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel, you will see which the team definitely chose the additional difficult visor to create, as it encompasses so much additional of the helmet with open space. The design team was forced to get extra creative in which area too in terms of other materials, as they were using ABS for the 3D printing mold. The visor, yet, had to be vacuumed formed, which meant they needed to heat, stretch, and use a vacuum on the plastic.

“We first wanted to use 2-mm Polycarbonate, but the forming temperatures were too high. We ended up using 1.5-mm PETG (pop bottle) plastic. It yet had to be heated to 135 degrees celsius, additional than three times the maximum recommended working temperature of the ABS plastic. If the buck heats above 60 degrees it will begin to warp,” explained Burns. “After of six seconds we were in the 60-degree celsius range which prevented warping.”

UntitledIn dissecting the elements involved in making the helmet, the team discovered the experience to be ‘invaluable’ and helped their expertise to grow. They did in addition add a few fun extras like LED lights.

“We are now capable of printing tools to make parts which can’t be 3D printed,” said Burns. “Industry clients often ask us to improve on products they may already have. This involves taking the product apart, 3D scanning it, rebuilding the product using desktop assisted design, altering the desired parts and and so 3D printing each element for testing.”

20151030_154450This project certainly came of a exception angle as compared to another helmet our own Scott Grunewald not long ago covered of the preferred Adafruit team. Known for incredible 3D printing savvy and the competence to jazz up even the most basic of items and gadgets, the Ruiz brothers in addition chose Guy-Manuel’s helmet with the goal of taking it above and beyond its current state, making it additional wearable and adding extra bling with difficult, programmable LEDs.

While the folks over at Adafruit may be 3D printing rockstars, we’re counting on teams like those at SAIT Polytechnic and their Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS), which works to take on projects uniting the needs of industry with the knowledge and competences of ability and students to bring innovations nearer to market. Discuss this story in the Daft Punk 3D print Forum on 3DPB.com.

ARIS has four research divisions: Environmental Technologies, Sports and Wellness Engineering Technologies, the RFID Application Development Lab and Green Building Technologies. They in addition work with numerous other teams in research.

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