Read our blog for all the latest in the world of 3D printing


posted 05 November 2015 at 11:59:25

Umbrellas are designed to be weather-resistant, we know. Otherwise, what's the point? But the new Cypress Umbrella – prototyped using 3D printing technology – is purportedly especially good at preventing one of the most common causes of a broken umbrella: wind damage.  
The candidate of a Kickstarter funding campaign, Vancouver-based Hedgehog Products Inc. has created "the first fully telescopic umbrella with automotive inspired rib suspension and interchangeable canvas". In other words, while most umbrellas buckle and blow inside out in a gale, the Cypress is ten times stronger than a traditional umbrella and can resist even the most aggressive wind.  

While common umbrellas possess a standard skeleton with u-shaped channels and hinged linkages, the Cypress’s telescopic frame architecture combines a collapsible stem with a telescopic rib resign, with each rib possessing a tubular section alongside precision machined joints and stainless steel pins. The design has been assembled using 3D printing technology at its prototype stage, although the company will build its final product using aluminium and injection molded plastic.  
One integral feature is its independent suspension system, inspired by automotive engineering. Just as shock absorbers work to smooth out bumps on a car journey, each rib within the Cypress Umbrella’s architecture is designed to pivot and adjust independently, reducing the critical jolt from a strong gust of wind. The independent pivots and adjustments made by each rib help the umbrella to handle sudden shifts in airflow, making it more stable.
The common problem of wind damage is not the only difficult situation to be tackled. Folding up an umbrella to store it in a bag can often leave a damp mess. The Cypress features an embedded enclosure, handily concealed within the handle. Its expanding sleeve eliminates the problem of dripping – so no more sodden bags.  
Aesthetics haven't been forgotten either. The Hedgehog team is aware of how important it is for an umbrella to complement one’s outfit, so it developed the umbrella to feature a fully interchangeable canvas. In less than three minutes, the entire canvas of the umbrella can be replaced with another of a different colour.  

A range of rewards are on offer for backers of the Cypress Umbrella’s Kickstarter campaign. For more info go to