Developing and producing 3d printed modular bike polo mallet heads.
Bike polo mallet heads have traditionally been made out of one piece of CNC machined plastic. When the one side of the Mallet head wears out, you have to rotate and remount the mallet head or remove the head and mount a new one. If designed a mallet head which was made in two parts, a pipe mounted onto the shaft and a 3d printed insert into the head. Then when the insert wore out it could just be rotated without remounting. And when it wore out completely it could be easily replaced as long a 3d printer was accessible. I could sell this mallet head system on a local, national and maybe even international level. My system would save money and be better for the environment because less plastic is being bought and wasted. One difficulty that I will face is stopping people from printing the design without paying for it. One way of dealing with this would be to protect the design using a patent. Another way would be to have a sophisticated way of fastening the 3d printed insert into the head, and the consumers would buy the head.
Bike polo players all over the world would benefit from this mallet head system. Players who regularly play on a rough court will benefit most.
This project will teach me how to set up and run a very small business. It will provide better products to bike polo players and it will provide more business to a local 3d printer service, overseas material supplies and the local postage service. This business will help Canberra be more of a center of innovation as well as helping it to become a more economically prosperous place.
I have designed and made a prototype mallet head. I currently have enough pipe to build and test other prototypes. My dads workshop is providing some of the tools that I need.
1 month 3ds max subscription $260 (for 3d modeling head insert)
1 Kg 3d printing filament – $40 (for 3d printing insert for heads)
1 ft tubing $50 (main part of head)
16 screws $15 (for fastening insert to tubing)
This will be enough for approximately 4 prototypes.
My aim is to be selling modular mallet heads locally and nationally. If the project is financially successful, I would like to explore other materials and other ways of manufacturing bike polo mallet heads.