What do you do if you’re a linebacker in the NFL and you break your arm two weeks before the Super Bowl? Well that’s what happened to Thomas Davis, All-Pro star linebacker for the Carolina Panthers. Thomas broke his right forearm in a January 24 game against the Arizona Cardinals, winning him a trip to Santa Clara, California and also a metal plate and 12 screws to hold the bones together.
With Super Bowl 50 just a few days away, the Panthers’ trainers decided to try an arm brace to shield the injury for the big game.
According to CNET, four different brace options were created to be tested during practices. In the end, Davis chose a customized 3D printed brace which he picked “…for its toughness. “ The brace was created by 3D Elite, a manufacturer of 3D-printed braces and casts for athletes, and was produced in record time at Whiteclouds 3D Printing on a Stratasys Connex 3D Printer.
The whole process – from design to 3D printing – took only about 30 hours!
David has been giving it a work-out during practices leading up to today’s game against the Denver Broncos. According to statements made during media night on Monday, he “took every opportunity to hit it on something.”
Tackling the Challenge with Stratasys Connex and Stratasys 3D Printing Materials
The brace was made out of a composite blend of Stratasys plastic and rubber-like 3D printing materials, unique to Connex. This makes it rigid to stabilize the arm, but flexible enough to absorb any impact. It also has holes to make it breathable and to cut down on any extra weight. The inside is printed with a spongy material that not only increases comfort, but also improves the ability to withstand a collision.
Whiteclouds reports that if Davis plays today with the brace, it will be the first time in history that a 3D printed piece of equipment is used in the Super Bowl.
So grab the snacks, head for the sofa, and get ready for a possible NFL record for 3D printing. We wish Thomas Davis a great game with his 3D printed brace!
And while you’re waiting for kick-off, download your free whitepaper on Stratasys’ Connex3 – the new versatility standard in professional 3D printing.