3D printed dynamic brackets help European hockey players win again
Two months before the start of the 2021 European Championship, the Dutch national team’s three-time Olympic medal hockey player Eva de Goede fractured his wrist. After 100 days of injuries and bones, only to race against practice, she may recover in time and continue to compete.
At this time, they chose to use a special 3D printed stent as postoperative support. Centrum Orthopedie performed a 3D scan of Eva’s hand, and Artus3D processed it to generate a 3D model of the bracket. In cooperation with Saskia Sizoo, a special design called “Sizoo Dynamic Wrist Bracket 2.0” was developed in 2020 to help people with wrist problems and speed up wrist rehabilitation. Subsequently, the design was printed in one day through the on-demand 3D Printing platform Beamler.
Brackets have very strict specifications. They should have excellent mechanical properties to prevent the hinge from shifting, but they should also be flexible at room temperature for more comfort. TPU, or thermoplastic polyurethane, is a type of plastic that exhibits elasticity and good mechanical properties. Therefore, TPU is the material of choice for making stents for Eva. TPU can be 3D printed by Multi Jet fusion, which is a process similar to adhesive jetting. Chemical additives are projected onto the powder bed to form parts layer by layer. This process guarantees a short delivery time, low porosity and excellent surface treatment. With this cutting-edge technology that is perfectly suitable for this purpose, compared with other technologies, the stent can be manufactured at a low price in a record time. The captain of the Dutch national hockey team wore this characteristic 3D printed wrist brace and won the historic 11th and third consecutive European Hockey Championships for the Dutch women’s team, defeating Germany 2-0 in the final.
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