A Safer Fencing Mask
While participating in a tournament, I witnessed a fellow fencer hit on the back of the head, where there is no protection from current masks. Although she recovered, I felt this should be improved now, instead of when it is too late. The challenge was to create a mask that protects the brain stem, permits visibility, and yet can be opened with one hand.
1 month - Self Initiated Project
Skills - CAD, Material Studies
Although a comparatively safe sport, Fencing has sustained a number of tragic fatalities, each exposing flaws in the traditional equipment of the time. This tragic practice, or tombstone engineering, has paved the way for new equipment changes, better regulations, and overall safety awareness in the sport. This project was done in pursuit of preventing the next tragedy before it occurs.
Initial concept sketches focused on how to completely contain the fencer's head, while still allowing the range of visibility and movement necessary. The final concept is faceted polygonal enclosure, maintaining inspiration from the form of traditional masks, but bringing an updated edge to the style.
The new design incorporates a steel mesh which encases the fencer's entire head. It can be opened by depressing a button in the rear of the helmet. The helmet also uses a rigid plastic bib which is segmented by flexible rubber hinges. This hard plastic prevents a majority of throat injuries.
The redesign also features embedded LED lights which work in combination with the electronic scoring systems. They illuminate when a touch is scored. This brings added entertainment value for spectators who may be unfamiliar with the sport.