Personalized Sports Gear: Carbon’s 3D Printing Enhances Helmets and Bike Saddles

By on June 19th, 2024 in news, Usage

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Custom-designed 3D printed bike saddle [Source: Carbon]

Carbon is going all-in on 3D printed consumer sports applications.

We’ve received several bits of news from the 3D printer manufacturer about recent developments in their application space. Their powerful resin 3D printers are designed not specifically for prototyping, but rather for mass manufacturing. They’ve complemented the hardware with sophisticated software that allows customers to very quickly design highly complex lattice structures for various applications.

Sports seems to be one of the key areas for the company, as there is a market for personalized sports equipment. 3D print technology, combined with Carbon’s materials and mass manufacturing capabilities, can yield a wide range of personalized sports products.

Let’s look at two different sports applications by Carbon.

CCM Super Tacks Helmet

Super Tacks X Total Custom Helmet [Source: CCM]

Ice hockey is one sport that requires a lot of gear, and one of the most important is the helmet, which protects the head against inevitable collisions and falls.

Carbon has worked with CCM on the Super Tacks X Total Custom Helmet. CCM explains:

“The Super Tacks X Total Custom helmet is the first certified fully customized helmet in the game. The fit is incomparable due to its unique 3D printed liner custom made for you. Just like the pros.”

In fact, it IS just like the pros. In a post on LinkedIn, Carbon wrote:

“The NHL Stanley Cup is full swing, and the intensity is palpable!

Did you know that 25% of the players in the finals are wearing the CCM Hockey Super Tacks X Total Custom helmet?

This custom helmet provides superior fit, breathability and performance, giving players the confidence they need to have in order to win hockey’s holy grail.”

This helmet has been available since 2020, but its popularity has evidently reached the highest levels.

Custom Bike Saddles

Carbon just announced a partnership with Fizik, a gear supplier for cyclists. The company, in operation since 1996, has previously made use of Carbon’s technology for an advanced Adaptive 3D bike saddles. These products leveraged Carbon’s software to generate a saddle that includes multiple comfort zones to optimize the riding experience.

While that’s an amazing product, it was a standard product for all customers. Now they are going deeper with a personalization approach.

After three years of research they’ve developed a complete end-to-end system to produce custom bike saddles for individual riders. The 3D models for the saddles are generated from data collected from the rider and pushed through an algorithm.

How do you get personalized data about the rider’s position? Carbon explains:

“Fizik collaborated with GebioMized, a leader in pressure map data, to engineer a system for collecting pressure map data from riders to customize a saddle design with distinctive zonal cushioning tuned to adapt specifically to the rider’s body.”


“If they could record the pressure a cyclist exerts on the saddle dynamically while riding, and map out a unique pressure profile, they could then use this data to produce a bespoke 3D-printed saddle padding that offers unparalleled improvements in both comfort and performance.”

64 pressure sensors on the bike saddle [Source: Carbon]

The data collection involves use of a specialized saddle equipped with 64 pressure sensors. These can capture the rider’s saddle pressure at these points while engaging in a variety of typical riding positions.

Apparently it’s even possible to capture the data while riding your own bike. The rider would set up a fit session with a provider, and the sensor saddle would be temporarily installed on the rider’s own bike. That ensures the best possible data capture.

The data is then transformed into a saddle 3D model, which is 3D printed using Carbon’s equipment and materials. Finally, it’s assembled into the complete product and shipped to the customer.

This is an interesting process that really does deliver on the promise of personalized 3D printed goods.

Via Carbon, CCM and Fizik

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!