The dynamic AM splint helps Eva de Goede to win the Euro Championship »3dpbm
When Eva de Goede, three-time Olympic field hockey medalist for the Dutch national team, broke her wrist just two months before the start of the 2021 European Championship, it was a race against time to recover at time. A special custom 3D printed splint to support her postoperative wrist allowed her to join the team in time for the tournament.
A 3D scan of Eva’s hand was performed by Centrum Orthopedie (CO), which was processed by Artus3D to generate a 3D model of the corset. In cooperation with Saskia Sizoo, a special design called “Sizoo 2.0 dynamic wrist brace” was developed in 2020 to help people with wrist problems and speed up wrist rehabilitation. The design was then printed in one day via the Beamler on-demand 3D printing platform. With her special brace, the team captain won an 11th and a third consecutive historic EuroHockey championship title for the Dutch women’s team, beating Germany in the final with 2-0.
Eva plays as a midfielder for the Dutch national team and has scored three times during the championship. She received the “player of the tournament” award. “It was an incredible experience to be able to play and win on Dutch soil with a live audience! I am so grateful that we were able to achieve this, it is one of my most precious victories. I owe this gold medal to the rapid rehabilitation process with Saskia and the rapid production of orthotics, ”said Eva De Goede. “When I broke my wrist I didn’t dare dream about it yet, but I was aiming for a 1% chance it could happen. The 3D printed orthosis has changed my life, so I can recommend the Sizoo dynamic brace to anyone facing the same type of injury. I can now look forward to the Tokyo Olympics, I feel my team is well prepared for it. ”
The suspenders have very strict specifications, they must have excellent mechanical properties to prevent the joint from moving but must also be flexible at room temperature for more comfort. TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is a class of plastics that has properties of elasticity and good mechanical strength. TPU was therefore the material of choice to make Eva’s orthosis.
TPU can be 3D printed via Multi Jet fusion, a process similar to binder jet where a chemical additive is sprayed onto a bed of powder to form the part layer by layer. This process guarantees a short delivery time, low porosity and an excellent surface finish. Thanks to this state-of-the-art technology, perfectly suited to this use, suspenders can be manufactured in record time and at a low price compared to other technologies.
3D printing also has other interesting applications in other sports. The main one concerns the prevention of injuries with the manufacture of custom helmets for American football, cycling or hockey. The 3D printed helmets used in the NFL (National Football League) are among the best performing in the world due to their unique design which perfectly adapts to the athlete’s head. The mesh structure offers superior protection to the traditional foam used in helmets. Another application in active development is custom running shoes. Adidas and Nike have both announced running shoes with 3D printed soles that allow for better comfort and reduced weight.