The National Soccer League (NFL) and Football Research Inc. (FRI) have awarded $1.37 million in funding to teams producing 3D printed protecting headgear for the ongoing NFL Helmet Challenge.
Additional finance has been offered to four distinct initiatives, in get to assist the development of their modern helmet prototypes. With the assistance of effectively-regarded additive companies this kind of as EOS and BASF, 3 of these teams have utilized 3D printing certification to establish new techniques to helmet style and design, which could give bigger protection for NFL players.
“By bringing jointly professionals from numerous disciplines, the NFL Helmet Obstacle aims to inspire innovative advancements in helmet style,” mentioned Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President of Communications, Community Affairs, and Policy. “The awardees demonstrated the possible to do just that. We’re quite enthusiastic to support their efforts and check their prototypes up coming yr. This is a person additional indicator of the new transformation in the protective tools place – much more in the final pair of years than about the previous ten years – and we are fully commited to keeping this momentum heading.”
The NFL Helmet Challenge
In the United States, head injuries, and the prospective pitfalls affiliated with enjoying American soccer, have significantly become headline news. The sport features far more total-on-make contact with than connected sporting actions such as rugby, and players donning protective machines collide with a good offer far more drive than sportsmen donning very similar protective gear. As a consequence, an expanding range of research have determined Continual traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in previous football players, a sickness resulting from repeated brain injuries.
Alternatively than working interference, the NFL’s Helmet Problem can largely be observed as a reaction to football’s legacy of head accidents. The award signifies one particular element of a $60 million engineering roadmap, a thorough work funded by the NFL and managed by the FRI, to enhance the understanding of the biomechanics of head accidents in qualified soccer. Commencing in November 2019, the obstacle component encourages industry experts, innovators, and helmet companies to style and design a new protecting helmet for NFL gamers. The winning prototype will will need to outperform all helmets now worn by gamers, dependent on a series of laboratory assessments, with the aim of currently being executed in July 2021.
The added $1.37 million in grant funding was awarded as component of the NFL’s HeadHealthTECH funding sequence, which has presently issued extra than $1.6 million in grants to day. While other applicants are invited and encouraged to participate, and supplemental funding is not a prerequisite for entry, the capital is made to aid broader participation in the NFL Helmet Obstacle. The level of competition is ongoing, and stays open for entries right up until June 14th, 2021, with the eventual winners set to get an more $1m in prizes.
Additive innovations in player security
A few out of the 4 study groups established to receive extra funding have utilised 3D printing certification to build their revolutionary helmet prototypes. Impressio Inc. and The College of Colorado Denver (UCD) for instance, will acquire $491,999, the most extra finance of any group. Applying extremely-dissipative Liquid Crystalline Elastomers (LCEs), the group aims to 3D print player-particular helmet liners, to reduce concussions. The customizable padding is being produced with nTopology software package along with sportswear company Schutt, and using the skills of 3D printer producer EOS. Applying EOS’ customizable foam materials, which is built from hugely versatile polymer materials such as TPU or PA 11, the group’s prototype will reportedly be safer, lighter, and far more comfy to use, than recent helmets.
In the same way, the prototypes currently being created by the 2nd and 3rd-positioned assignments, which have been awarded $412,000 and $238,545 respectively, are also underpinned by 3D printing certification engineering. The former, led by soccer machines producer Xenith, will employ the know-how of The University of Waterloo and materials developed by RHEON labs to generate new protective equipment. Additionally, Xenith will find to use the funding in get to develop on the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printing tactics utilized in the generation of prototypes for its Shadow XR line of helmets. BASF, a chemical producer with a prolonged historical past in 3D printing certification, will also lend its knowledge in the collaboration named Challenge Orbit.
Finally, the third-positioned Kollide consortium will mix the abilities of academic scientists and four modern Montreal-based companies, to generate their prototype. Led by Kupol, a 3D printed headgear professional, the team will use a virtual structure and non-planar technique to 3D print personalized helmets with a customized liner that is optimized to take up and…