Our March Part of the Month was chosen by Matthew DeGroat, Purple Porcupine’s Service Bureau Manager. I was excited for our part selection meeting for two key reasons:
- Matt has been at Purple for over a decade, he’s seen how much different technologies have grown, and he knows an incredibly wide range of customer projects and applications.
- Matt is fun. Now, this is an unfair statement, because all Purple employees are fun. But Matt is fun.
The selection process had a rocky start, with Matt reluctantly getting out of his chair, saying, “You’re going to judge me…”
He was right. I did.
In my defense, he picked a football helmet for a part to highlight the month after the Super Bowl ended. In his defense, the helmet was a good pick. The model is a great example of how a user can manipulate a part, adding in multiple FDM colors, branding with PolyJet, and off-the-shelf screws into a single prototype.
How It Was Made
The helmet was printed in black, gray, and orange ASA. It’s a prototype that could be created on a range of Stratasys FDM printers, from the F170 to the F900.
There is a gray stripe through the middle of the helmet. Although FDM is limited to printing a single material at a time, this streak was done in one print. How? The print was paused, black material cartridge swapped for gray, and the print restarted. Once the gray portion was the needed width, the swap repeated itself in reverse, with black making its return.
The orange highlights were added in after the print was completed. Triangle-shaped gaps existed in the initial file, with the orange triangles printed to fit.
The facemask was also printed separately, with black ASA brackets and off-the-shelf screws used to affix it to the body of the part.
The branding on the front of the helmet was created with PolyJet in an elastomeric material, so the component conformed to the shape of the helmet.
Why 3D Printing Was Essential
“Being a massive football fan, and someone who played football,” said Matt, “I think this part is a great use of 3D printing for helping to develop helmets. A part like this saves players from getting concussions, and additive ensures that the prototype can be done quickly for the athletes that bring me so much joy for so many months of the year.”
If you’re interested in seeing this part in-person, or any of the other parts we’ve previously highlighted, stop by our showroom or give us a call at 949.474.9222.
Meet Matt DeGroat
Meet Matt DeGroat, Purple Porcupine’s Service Bureau Manager. Matt manages all operations of Purple Porcupine and its employees. He ensures that all orders are printed to perfection, cleaned, and shipped out in a timely manner. What Matt enjoys most about working at Purple is the creativity he gets to see unfold.
Out of the office, Matt enjoys spending time in the kitchen, cooking various Italian and seafood dishes. If you haven’t had the chance to meet Matt, make sure to connect with him on LinkedIn!
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