Digital Foam Technology: EOS and Bauer Create New Customized Hockey Helmets

By on February 28th, 2023 in news, Usage

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Customized hockey helmet insert made with Digital Foam [Source: EOS]

EOS and Bauer unveiled a new application for 3D printing: personalized ice hockey helmets.

The application leverages EOS’ digital foam product. This is a combination of software, hardware and materials that can generate a lattice-like structure that mimics real foam.

While the printed portions of the helmet insert are “solid”, they also provide impact resistance because the lattice beams bend when under stress.

Why do this at all? Don’t hockey helmets already have foam inserts? They do, but it’s a one-size-fits-all configuration, which may not be optimal in many cases.

Bauer Hockey’s Brand Manager Mathieu Dejardins explained:

“Whether elite athletes or pond hockey players, no two heads are alike. Bauer has now jumped in headlong into ‘mass customization’. Through our work with EOS and other partners, we are evolving MyBauer custom hockey equipment program to now include helmet inserts specific to the individual, but able to be produced at-scale. While Digital Foam is still relatively new, it keeps us out-front of product innovation while also bypassing other engineering and manufacturing limitations.”

This is the really interesting part: customers will be able to visit Bauer’s “MyBauer” site to prepare a custom, personalized helmet order.

Currently MyBauer is set up to provide a way for customers to order sticks, skates, skate blades, and other gear with the exact customization required.

You might be wondering about this: why would you need to customize a stick? It turns out that in the hockey world, high-level athletes (and those aspiring to be so) want to push the envelope to get the absolute best possible equipment. This is why Bauer allows customers to tweak the designs, although it can be expensive.

Now they’re adding helmets to the the list of customizable products, which will not only fit better, but more than likely provide superior protection from impact. I also have a suspicion the digital foam material will be more durable than foam: anyone with a bike helmet knows that the foam doesn’t last very long.

This is actually quite a good market to enter, because, like aerospace, healthcare and automotive, clients are already accustomed to high part prices. Note that we’re not talking about hockey sticks and gear you’d pick up at Walmart: these are highly customized, top-level items that you’d find in professional events.

I know from personal experience that hockey add-ons almost always carry a hefty price tag, and the customized helmet will likely also do so. However, the price level won’t be an issue as there are plenty of professional and semi-professional players that may take up this new offer.

My thought is that this type of lattice application will find similar success in other areas. After all, who wouldn’t want a personalized product?

Via EOS and Bauer

By Kerry Stevenson

Kerry Stevenson, aka "General Fabb" has written over 8,000 stories on 3D printing at Fabbaloo since he launched the venture in 2007, with an intention to promote and grow the incredible technology of 3D printing across the world. So far, it seems to be working!

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