3D Printing: A Solution Out of Thin Air

by Ryan Dark

Falling is the safest way to travel.  Wait…it’s flying.  Not falling.  Flying is the safest way to travel.

Falling is the most dangerous way to…die.

Not according to Ryan Dark.  He falls for fun.

Although this sport (glamorized by the term ‘skydiving’), is designed to attract thrill-seekers, participants need to ensure they return to the earth in one piece.  Let’s see how Ryan takes complete ownership of his safety in his favorite pastime.  By the end of this article, you’ll see Ryan wearing pants.  That never happens.

He hit a snag

In skydiving, it is a big deal when it comes to attaching things to your body.   Everything attached to you becomes a risk of snagging the parachute’s bridle (a piece that attaches a small pilot chute to the main parachute to pull it out). indicated in red.

As such, some time and thought need to go into how things attach to minimize snagging.  Typically they look something like this:

3D Printing Skiydiving

Image from Chutingstar.com

Coincidentally similar to:

3D Printing Skydiving

Marvin the Martian – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_the_Martian

Ryan has a better idea.

He has a spherical-shaped Samsung Gear 360 (2016 model) camera that he wanted to use in skydiving but there isn’t an available snagless* mount for that camera since it is not as mainstream as a GoPro.

*Snagless is a word now…are you listening, Merriam-Webster?

He designed a piece to retrofit his GoPro mount to instead carry the Gear 360 in a way that reduces the snag potential by making an organic shape that blends the mount into the camera.

Here is the mount he started with:

Here is the Samsung camera:

These were his results:

This is what it looked like mounted:

I would be willing to dress like Marvin the Martian if I could have bragging rights to a photo like this:

Look, Ma, no hands!

Making Another One

With 3D printing and a parametric 3D CAD tool like SOLIDWORKS, you can easily modify the design to make a snagless mount for your friend so he can get in on the action:

We Don’t Really Care About Safety

Who cares about safety or falling to your death when you can get an even better photo/video??? Ryan modified the design further and made a camera horn called a “Narwhal” that is used in skydiving to capture video/photos of the diver’s face. Think of it as the ultimate sky selfie stick.  Sky-fie stick?

The Narwhal is designed with an intentionally breakable thin neck, should you get yourself in a tangle.  Thrill-seekers can live on the edge and still exercise safety and caution.

See footage of Ryan’s 3D printed Narwhal in action!  (office caution: turn speakers on low or mute)

For more Dark adventures, follow Ryan on YouTube and Instagram: @rynadrk


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