Carbon and Riddell Team Up for 3D Printed Helmet Liners
Carbon is teaming up with sports equipment manufacturer, Riddell, to create 3D printed football helmet padding.
This “Diamond Technology” custom fits helmet liners to each individual player based on dimensions and position. The basic idea is that the liner will revert to its original form after a collision that might otherwise affect its shape.
“We scan heads, and then you’ve got the shell of the helmet,” Carbon co-founder and CEO Joseph DeSimone told TechCrunch. “The gap between the head and the shell is now customized. That space is now custom to everybody, and we fill that space with a lattice that controls the impact of the sport. It allows you to get really great performance as you control the impact that the players see.”
The research behind the design includes more than five million on-field collisions collected by Riddell smart helmets.
“As someone who’s spent thousands of hours watching film, I know that no two players play the same way,” quarterback and Riddell spokesperson Peyton Manning said in a release tied to the news. “They all have different styles and tendencies on the field, which is another key benefit to Riddell’s Diamond technology. With the SpeedFlex Precision Diamond, players are not only experiencing the latest in head protection, they can also dictate where the helmet is positioned to improve sight lines and maximize field vision.”
When the liners become more widely available (which could be as early as this year), Carbon plans to use the L1 printer to mass-produce the product. This new printer should have no problem keeping up with high-demand as the build area is about 10 times greater than the formerly used M1.
The underlying idea here is that this technology will further protect players from sustaining head injuries that have been shown to cause many short and long term effects (i.e. concussions and CTE).