Apr 11, 2016 | By Tess

From football, to baseball, to hockey, and even to soccer, every athlete, whether amateur or professional, requires some sort of protection from injury. In sports where agility is key, such as in soccer, protective equipment, while still necessary, must remain as minimal as possible so as not to hinder the game. In an innovative step towards the optimization of sports equipment, Austrian startup Zweikampf are introducing a new type of highly protective but physically inconspicuous 3D printed shin guards, which could potentially change the game.

The 3D printed shin guards, which look like the sleekest piece of sports equipment I’ve personally ever seen, are made using three layers and an innovative “Y” structure. The top layer is a 3D printed shell, which utilizes the aforementioned “Y” structure that was inspired by Samurai warriors’ armor from over 1000 years ago. Using 3D modeling and printing technologies, the team at Zweikampf were able to appropriate this strong structural design and make a 3D grip profile that promotes sock support, as well as maximum impact deflection.

The middle layer is a custom layer made from XRD technology which lets you choose between three options: comfort, allround, or performance. Essentially, the comfort option comprises of a softer layer which provides more cushioning, while the other extreme, the performance option, comprises of a hard layer that has a higher deflection impact. The custom layers were designed based off of 3D scans of shins, and are available in three sizes, to best fit your leg.

The bottom layer, which rests directly upon your shin, is an XRD technology soft touch layer that was designed to provide both maximum comfort and protection. The company describes the XRD material used as “durable, flexible, and pleasant against the skin”, which makes it ideal for high stress sports that require a lot of agility.

The 3D printed shin guards only weigh 75 grams (approximately 0.16 lbs) each, and are only 7mm thick, making them almost imperceptible underneath your socks. Additionally, you can have your 3D printed shin guards customized to include your name, number, and team on them, so you’ll always know they’re yours.

According to the company, a Kickstarter campaign for their functional and stylish shin guards will launch imminently, and until it does, clients can pre-order the 3D printed equipment through Zweikampf’s website starting in May for 139 euros a pair. If ordered, the shin guards will also include sock tapes to help keep them in place.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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