Apr 28, 2016 | By Tess

We have some good news for our readers who were enamoured with Austrian startup Zweikampf’s 3D printed football shin guards as the company has launched a Kickstarter campaign for their innovative product. The crowdfunding campaign, which expires on May 17th, 2016 is hoping to raise its goal of €50,000 in order to put their 3D printed shin guards into production.

As we wrote about a couple weeks ago, the idea for the 3D printed shin guards came about in 2014 when Jakob, the founder and CEO of Zweikampf, felt his own needs were not being met in the shin guard market. He explains, “As a passionate football player, I had a big problem a few years ago: chronic periostitis of the shins. I searched the market for a shin guard that suited me 100%, but no such luck. I talked with some friends of mine who also played football and they also felt the same. the guard we wanted still had to be invented.”

Teaming up with his father, and a number of other teammates, Jakob set out to create a high-quality, form fitting, protective, and sleek shin guard. After 3D scanning over 250 soccer players’ shins and doing extensive research into the structure and designs of existing protective equipment, the Zweikampf shin guard was born.

The innovative shin guard, which comes in three sizes, consists of a three layered design to maximize both impact deflection and comfort. The top layer, the hard shell, is 3D printed and incorporates a signature “Y” structure, which was inspired by the honeycomb structure of Japanese Samurai armour, and helps to distribute shock and impacts. The top layer has also been coated with a high friction coating to stop socks from sliding down the wearer’s leg—an unending annoyance as many soccer players will know.

The second layer is the custom layer, which lets users choose between three degrees of hardness for the shin guard: softer (which emphasizes comfort), harder (for increased blow deflection), or middle (for a mix of both). The innermost layer is the comfort layer, which is made using XRD Impact Protection material, which is not only comfortable on the skin but is durable, light, and flexible. Overall, the shin guard weighs only 75grams and is only 7mm thick, making for an inconspicuous layer of protection that won’t hinder your game.

Additionally, the 3D printed shin guards can also be personalized with your name and number, which can be printed on the inside of the gear. While not visible on the field, the custom name and number will help you identify your Zweikampf shin guards in the locker room.

As mentioned, the Kickstarter campaign will end in just a few weeks, so if you want to make a pledge, now is the time. In terms of rewards, you can receive a Zweikampf branded sportsbag for €15, a set of 11 Zweikampf bibs or pinnies for €75. For the early bird special of €125 you can receive a pair of customized Zweikampf shin guards, which come hand packaged with sports tape and a sportsbag. The 3D printed shin guards will retail regularly for €149, though you can also receive a set of 11 of them (enough for a soccer lineup) for €1,500.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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