Nov 26, 2017 | By Benedict

Sergio Ramos, captain of Real Madrid and the Spanish national soccer team, will wear a 3D printed mask after breaking his nose during a match. The ultra-lightweight mask is made from a 3D printable carbon fiber material also used in Formula 1 cars and aerospace components.

Footballer Sergio Ramos will don a 3D printed mask to protect a broken nose

There weren’t many reasons to cheer during the big Madrid derby on Saturday: city rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid fought out a goalless draw, keeping both sides level on 24 points and leaving them ten points adrift of Barcelona, who lead the La Liga table.

The game was dramatic for other reasons though. Real captain Sergio Ramos had to leave the match at half time after sustaining a broken nose caused by a late kick from Atletico’s Lucas Hernandez.

Real fans might have been fearing the worst, but it looks as though the combative defender will be back in action sooner than expected—thanks to 3D printing.

Defender Ramos was injured during Saturday's 0-0 draw with local rivals Atletico Madrid

Zaragoza-headquarted Younext, a subsidiary of Podoactiva that specializes in protective devices, has designed a 3D printed face mask for Ramos that will allow the defender to safely take part in training and matches without risking further damage to his bones.

Ramos is currently using one 3D printed mask for training, but may have another design made for the more intense physical occasion of a match. (Madrid’s next is a home tie against Malaga this Saturday, but that may prove too soon for Ramos, even with his 3D printed facial protection in place.)

Another reason for Ramos to have a new 3D printed mask made in the coming days is the changing shape of his injured face. Once the swelling from the injury goes down a bit, a new 3D scan may be required for a more accurate fit.

Ramos is wearing a 3D printed Younext mask to protect his injury

Interestingly, it’s not the first time a Madrid-based player has used Younext’s services, and surely won’t be the last. In 2014, former Atletico striker Mario Mandzukic suffered a similar injury, after which the company 3D printed him a black face mask emblazoned with the club crest of Atletico. The company has also made customized products for other professional footballers and athletes from other sports.

For Ramos’ 3D printed mask, there is of course no Atletico logo, but the design is quite similar to that 2014 device worn by Mandzukic. Weighing just 65 grams and made from a high-modulus carbon fiber used in single-seat Formula 1 chassis, the headgear protects the nasal septum and is 10 times stronger than steel.

Former Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic wore a 3D printed mask from Younext in 2014

The new mask is also tailor-made to Ramos’ face. Younext obtained a 3D scan of the defender’s face, then used that 3D data to digitally design a mask that would fit the player perfectly. The inside of the mask is cushioned with a softer material with a high absorption capacity, and an elasticated band is used to secure the mask around the player’s head.

Generally, Younext’s personalized masks of this type cost around 300 euros ($355). That's obviously small change for a professional athlete like Ramos, but it's not even a bad price for non-millionaires, given the range of processes used to create each device. And yes, even amateur footballers can get their club crest printed onto their mask.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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MarcC wrote at 11/27/2017 3:56:54 PM:

3D printed protective mask! Descriptive smoke and mirrors come to mind, more like a 3d printed form from a 3d scan the form to shape a carbon fiber prepreg over it by vacuum bagging, trimming the cured form and laminating with a PU or EVA foam on the inside.

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