Three-time Olympic medalist field hockey player of the Dutch national team, Eva de Goede, fractured her wrist two months prior to the start of the 2021 European Championship. In order to compete properly, Dutch 3D printing company Beamler, Artus3D, Centrum Orthopedic, and Physio-/Handtherapist Saskia Sizoo developedtogether aspecial custom-made 3D printed brace to support her wrist.
Saskia Sizoo designed the Sizoo dynamic wrist brace. However, to ensure the production of a custom brace for Goede, the experts from Centrum Orthopedie performed a 3D scan of the athlete’s hand. The data collected were therefore processed by Artus3D to generate a 3D model of the brace – Artus 3D provides an all-in-one software for producing hand orthoses -.
The Physio-/Handtherapist is no stranger to such designs, as since 2020, he has been helping several people with wrist problems. His ‘Sizoo dynamic wrist brace 2.0’ played a key role in speeding up their rehabilitation.
Beamler comes into play at the production level. Due to strict specifications regarding the production of these objects, the production required the combination of MultiJet Fusion and TPU material. The company explained in a press communication that braces should have excellent mechanical properties to prevent the articulation from shifting but they should also be flexible at room temperature for more comfort.
The choice for TPU therefore makes sense since it integrates properties of elasticity and good mechanical behavior. According to Beamler, this process guarantees a short delivery time, low porosity, and excellent surface finish.
WIth her special brace, the team captain went on to win a historic 11th and third consecutive EuroHockey Championship title for the Dutch women’s team, beating Germany in the final with 2-0.
When asked how she felt when competing despite her injury, the ‘player of the tournament’ award-winning athlete said: “It was an amazing experience to be able to play, and to win on Dutch soil with a live audience! I am so grateful we were able to achieve this, it’s one of my more precious victories. I owe this gold medal to the quick rehabilitation process with Saskia and the fast orthosis production. When I broke my wrist I didn’t yet dare to dream of this, but I aimed for the 1% chance that it could happen. (…) I can now look forward to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, I feel my team is well-prepared for it.”
As Goede’s custom 3D printed brace has been achieved in the sport industry, we can’t help but recommend you to have a look at the latest 2021 May/June issue of 3D ADEPT Mag, which features an exclusive dossier on the use of additive manufacturing in the sports industry (PP45-50).
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