For BTSM, a Montreal based music trio, their Black Tiger Helmets are more than a logo. Worn by each member, they are an integral part of the group’s unique trademark distinguishing them as one of the many diverse clients we collaborate with on a daily basis here at Axis Prototypes. To accomplish their vision of a durable yet visually stunning end product, BTSM turned to Axis Prototypes for our expertise and innovation in additive manufacturing to design and construct the signature Tiger Helmet.
Wanting to escape the constraints imposed by traditional means of production, BTSM worked closely with our professional technicians to explore the vast array of solutions that 3D printing has to offer. The project needed to balance both visually aesthetic and sturdy functionality, as the trademark look of the helmet is used in high energy performances, photo and video shoots, and must be capable of packing down to travel. Collaborating with Axis technicians gave BTSM freedom and input over the design process, and the use of 3D printing allowed for customizable solutions in the weight and finish of the helmet. Working within the budgetary limitations of our client, each specification of the helmet was personalized to best fit their needs without negating the visual impact of the product.
Knowing our client needed a sleek and durable prototype, our experts chose to print the helmet with the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) solution and using the Nylon 12 material, a powerhouse in 3D printing for producing strong and resilient end-use parts. As the helmet needed top levels of finishing, we recommended SLS over Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) for its superiority in producing precise prototypes with less noticeable build lines, along with Nylons capacity to be primed and painted, as opposed to FDM’s filaments which do not support our finishing options to the same extent. Nylon 12’s advantage lies as well in its heat and chemical resistance which was essential to the prototype as it included LED light fixtures set within the helmet and required a material that could withstand heat without deforming or burning. SLS printing provided another unique bonus for the client; the powders used in printing generated a lightweight model of the helmet, allowing the performers to wear them for prolonged periods of time with maximized comfort.
For the outer and most visible parts of the helmets, we provided our top level of finishing, Showroom Level, which consists of the highest standard of sanding, primer coating, and automotive grade paint available in 3D printing to create a polished effect, perfect for the stage. However, in an attempt to be cost effective without compromising quality, our technicians adapted the design to include a second level of colourization for the model. For the smaller pieces and inside surfaces we provided our Dye Level finishing to colourize parts while maintaining a cheaper cost and maximizing time efficiency when compared to other means of colourization such as spray painting. Finally, the installation of inserts served to strengthen the fastened parts allowing the helmets to be assembled and taken apart efficiently and easily, ideal for travel and packing. BTSM filmed the final two prints and assemblies, including the finish, of the Tiger Helmet in house at Axis to present for their large fanbase.
Artistic collaboration is the cornerstone of our mission here at Axis Prototypes. No matter if the prototype is intended for automotive, aeronautics, or dental every piece is crafted and designed with care by our specialists to bring your vision into reality, to simplify the complex, and to introduce the vast freedom that 3D printing solutions can provide.