Austrian sports equipment manufacturer Zweikampf is releasing their first 3D printed product on Kickstarter this week, and it has already generated quite a bit of buzz. The Zweikampf Shin Guard is a high-tech marvel that puts the standard equipment to shame in both quality and design. Not only is it thinner, lighter and stronger than just about everything else on the market, but it has a sleek, modern design that can be customized for just about any player and their individual requirements.
The secret is Zweikampf XRD Technology which combines new, advanced materials and 3D printed components to make any soccer or football player’s perfect pair of shin guards.
Zweikampf Shin Guards are available in three different sizes, and each pair is made from three individual layers of materials. They are far more advanced than standard, injection-molded equipment, and were created for players who are serious about finding the perfect combination of protection and comfort.
The inner layer is a soft, pliable material that conforms to wearers’ legs snugly, so players will hardly notice that they are wearing anything. The center layer is available in three different configurations that can be selected by the wearer depending on the type of protection they are looking for. They can select an insert with higher levels of comfort and flexibility, one with more durability and strength, or something somewhere in between.
But it is the outer 3D printed shell of the Zweikampf Shin Guards where the real innovations are. The unique Y honeycomb structure of the surface was designed to absorb and diffuse shocks and hits by distributing the force throughout the entire structure. The shell has a high-friction coating that will keep it in place and never let the player’s socks drop or slip down. And at 75 grams and only 7 mm thick, the complex geometry is only possible using 3D printing, in this case a selective laser sintering process.
Three different size options were created by 3D scanning and comparing the shins of more than 250 players in order to develop the most optimal sizes for the most amount of players. While it is currently not an available option, in the future the company plans to offer shin guards made from an individual player’s 3D scanned leg.
Zweikampf is hoping to raise €50,000 (a little over $56,000 USD), and their campaign will be running until May 17. The retail cost of the shin guards will be €139 (or €149 for personalized), but the early bird price will set you back €125 (about $141 USD) and will include your name and player number printed on the inside. If they meet their estimated delivery date then backing this project could put a new pair of 3D printed shin guard in your hands by the end of May or June 2016.
Take a look at the Zweikampf Shin Guards Kickstarter video