Tech & Stuff: Mips’ Virtual Test Lab Aims To Reduce Helmet Development Times
Swedish helmet Protection specialist company Mips is always in the business of safety first. When it comes to the creation of a motorcycle helmet, however, the new gadget – despite often boasting new safety tech – has to go through rigorous testing before hitting the market.
As backward as it seems, those tests can often take years to complete, as it is done by hand – but what if there were another method that could speed things up a bit?
MCN tells us that Mips has the answer, in the form of a virtual test lab – and Mips CEO Max Strandwitz is excited about the potential for this new system.
“When you look at the development time of a motorcycle helmet, it normally takes around two to three years,” Strandwitz says.
“You need to do a lot of retooling – where something didn’t work as you’d wanted, or the density was not right…but we are striving to reduce the number of helmets you need to test before you can get to the actual product.”
“Normally, when someone comes to us, they send us a CAD drawing of what their helmet is going to look like. You also need to have some of the characteristics of the different materials that they use.”
“You need to have a material library. There you pick all the characteristics of the different materials and that’s normally what takes a lot of time.
“A motorcycle helmet can easily have five different densities – depending on where you are in the helmet,” he adds.
“The better you do the Mesh Structure, the better the outcome will be.”
The end result of all this research? Mips is not in possession of helmet-testing software that took around 20 years to manifest – and it purportedly “allows Mips to digitally construct a lid in around ten days, before beginning tests for safety in linear and rotational impacts, the effectiveness of ventilation, how much material you need to use and more.”
That’s a huge improvement on time for the company – and it could potentially also save on costs for all involved.