The evolution of our chin mounts is debatable within the expansive walls of WannaBes World Headquarters when it comes to which version of mount that we are actually on. Jon is adamant that there have been multiple versions, while Kjeld holds steadfast that we have been shipping version 1.5 for quite some time. Because we 3D print custom chin mounts for so many helmets, we have been constantly revising the designs based on customer feedback, so you can see where the debate stems from.
For the sake of this article (and because Kjeld is totally right) we are officially unveiling Version 2.0 of our chin mounts.
But first, some history on why the latest version has come to be.
We began 3D printing our chin mounts with the hard plastic known as PLA, figuring the rigidity would keep the camera stable under all riding conditions. We thought that with it being a hard plastic it would be tough enough to handle just about anything our customers threw at our custom-for-your-helmet mounts.
What we didn’t anticipate was so many people having a riding style that involved bouncing their chin off their handlebars, not that we are judging. Short of hitting it with a hammer, this seemed to be the only way for the PLA mounts to break, but it was a problem that we needed to solve.
Another drawback to 3D printed PLA is the tendency for it to warp when the temps boil into the Arizona desert or Australian Outback range. We would imagine the same could be true in a Subaru Outback with the windows rolled up on a hot enough Ohio day, but that complaint has yet to be filed.
Finally, the PLA mounts needed to be quite precisely installed. Given that they were made to fit the specific shape of your helmet, there was very little room for error on installation, and getting things lined up less than perfectly shortened the life expectancy of the 3M tape that we use.
Since making mounts that would last the lifetime of a helmet was the goal for production, we had some redesigning to do.
Enter Version 2.0
We are still 3D printing our mounts, but we have switched materials to a more rubbery filament called TPU. TPU is flexible without giving up too much rigidity, making it substantially stronger. How tough? Tough enough that we literally hit it with a hammer, dropped a chunk of cement on it, and ran it over with our truck and could not break it.
Seriously. See the video!
An added benefit of using TPU in our 3D printing process is that due to the flexibility of the material, it is much easier to mount to your helmet. It also requires less force to tighten your GoPro or other action/POV camera to the mounting forks.
Less effort, less stress, equals more fun, right?
This flexibility also acts as a “bumper” for your camera, so if you are one of our customers with the tendency to bounce their chin off their bars, you will not break our mount and you might not damage your camera either, you can thank us later.
We have done some extensive testing to make sure that the flexibility of our Version 2.0 3D printed chin mounts does not cause any unwanted “video wiggle”. We are confident that there is virtually none thanks in part to the latest GoPro camera image stabilization software. If you don’t believe us, check out our Instagram, YouTube, and Tik Tok channels for proof.
TPU melts at a much higher temperature than the old material, meaning that you could probably put a mount inside of a Subaru Outback in the Arizona desert and still have a usable chin mount for your GoPro, not that we recommend this. If you did find yourself in this scenario and your chin mount melted, we would still send you a replacement thanks to our lifetime guarantee.
Another improvement that we made to the Version 2.0 of our chin mounts was the addition of using Gorilla Clear Grip Glue to give the 3M tape a bit of adhesion advantage to the TPU itself. This stuff stays stuck and reduces the chance of the tape peeling from the mount to as close to zero as we can come.
If you manage to break one of our mounts while riding, we are very sorry for just how much pain you are in, because it had to have hurt more than getting hit with a hammer, then a chunk of cement, and then being run over by a truck.
That said, let us know how you managed to do it and we will get started on figuring out Version 3.0, and maybe even name it after you. “The Keith” has a weird ring to it, but who knows.
If you have any other feedback or design ideas, let us know and if it was something we should have thought of first we will incorporate it into our design process.