Designed for R&D
Through our own extensive R&D programme, we have discovered that mannequins are essential to extracting marginal gains.
When using an athlete, the repeatability in the wind tunnel can be significantly worse than the effect you are trying to detect. For example, determining whether the best seam position (A vs. B) may not be statistically visible without many days of testing in the wind tunnel due to the inherent noise of athlete testing.
Unfortunately, athletes are not robots and they are, despite all best endeavours, notoriously unrepeatable. A life-size mannequin on the other hand, doesn’t get tired, grumpy or cold, and can keep testing all day long with minimal fuss and maximum repeatability.
You have to accept that this is not a ‘real rider’, but as part of a large programme we feel it is the best way to extract repeatable performance. In the past we have had mannequins made from machined foam, but the solution chosen after extensive testing, was to 3D print them. The advantage is that a mannequin can be made quickly and affordably.
Robust and Repeatable
Our 3D printed mannequins are made from multiple pieces, joined with a combination of bolts and magnets to provide the right combination of flexibility and repeatability. With this type of approach and a few extra parts, a kit can be made to cover multiple leg and hand positions, with minimal extra cost.
We are obsessive about performance and look forward to helping deliver performance gains to athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, from around the world. Each suit we create is wind tunnel verified. We want to make sure that every suit we sell is faster than the competition. By verifying every suit, it allows us to continually improve and provide a unique experience to our Vorteq customers.
The arms, legs and shoulder joints are assembled with magnets to allow them to ‘snap off’, whilst maintaining a repeatable position, which is essential.
Using this kind of bespoke mannequin can actually allow you to test more configurations in a day than with a real athlete.
Our mannequins are constructed utilising Vorteq’s 12 large 3D printers. This allows us to print the parts of the mannequin in parallel, minimising the turnaround time for our customers.
A range of surface finishes are possible, but our preference, for maximum repeatability in the tunnel, is to leave a slightly rough finish.
3D Mannequin Options
Our mannequins come in three different levels, depending upon the requirements. A summary of the different features are given below, but we are ultimately flexible and can accommodate most requirements. If you do not see exactly what you are after then please use the contact button below.