Developing test benches to speed up R&D on Infl8

A project with

Project Context

Bumpair makes inflatable bike helmets. They came to us in the early stages of their Infl8 technology, a patented solution that combines air & fabrics to design highly protective and sustainable products. At the time they were trying to build a new type of protective helmet.

Being a safety equipment, they needed approval to label their equipment as such.

We took on the challenge of building 2 test benches that would push the helmets to their full capacity and speed up their internal R&D process.

How do we make sure our measurements are precise?
How do we build a test bench that can inflate and deflate the helmet quickly enough to conduct 1,000s of tests?
How do we make the tests as lifelike as possible?

The solution we built

We built 2 custom bench tests to make sure the helmet prototypes fit the imposed security standards. One that measured fatigue resistance. The other one that measured acceleration on impact with different surfaces.

Through the course of 2 milestones of 5 weeks each, our team managed to solve the problem, deliver and install the systems inside Bumpair's facilities.

Weeks 1 to 5: Getting the concepts right

Milestone 0 aKa Find your Spark

As soon as we started the project with Bumpair, we identified 2 different use cases requiring 2 different test benches. One that measured fatigue resistance. The other one that measured acceleration on impact with different surfaces and angles. We started by an extensive study of Bumpair needs in terms of regulation and R&D. We proposed several concepts and architecture for both test benches and we started the assembly.

  • 💼: Clear view on the 2 test benches to develop
  • 🔧: CAD models / architecture and first testing on simplified prototypes

Weeks 6 to 10: Building 2 reliable prototypes

Milestone 1

The purpose of the 2 test benches was to speed up R&D and validate certifications and standards for inflatable helmets and future inflatable products. During the 2nd milestone, we made iterative improvements to both prototypes to enhance reliability. The goal was to ensure that the Bumpair team could efficiently configure and utilize the system.

  • 💼: Complete development and assembly of the 2 systems
  • 🔧: 2 fully working test benches made in-house, with preliminary testing results

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Built a fatigue bench test that inflates and deflates a helmet 1,000s of times
Built a bench test to measure force on impact
Delivered both systems in 10 weeks and enabled 5000+ testing cycles over the following months
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