Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Robert Marks


This project analyzes the structural properties of 7-axis 3D printing versus traditional FDM printing. The team worked with AREVO Inc to manufacture a motorcycle helmet and test samples made from carbon fiber in a PEEK matrix. A drop-test rig was designed and constructed in-house to test a traditionally printed carbon fiber helmet alongside commercial helmets of identical geometry. The lighter weight printed helmet experienced significantly lower peak deceleration in the test headform (223 G’s versus 371 G’s for average commercial), but fractured along a print layer on impact. Had time allowed for printing of a helmet utilizing AREVOS’s true 3D printing technology with cross-hatched raster orientation, similarly printed test samples give strong evidence that this helmet would have reduced peak acceleration values and overall weight in comparison to similar commercial helmets, while avoiding fracture. This analysis exemplifies the significant capabilities and advantages of using true 3D printing methods where applications of traditional FDM printing would not suffice.