A lot has been made of head injuries in American Football, and rightfully so. Figuring out a better way to protect players should be on the top of the list. Riddell thinks so, and they’ve partnered with digital manufacturing platform Carbon to create a new approach to football helmets. Riddell’s new Diamond football helmet model uses a customized 3D printed liner that can be used inside the helmet to maximize protection.
The process uses Carbon’s proprietary Digital Light Synthesis technology to scan the player’s head. That scan is then used to determine the precise fit needed. Using Carbon’s software, a liner is designed that is unique to each individual. Each liner consists of over 140,000 individual struts, each of which absorb forces from both liner and rotational forces. Based on data of over five million on-field impacts, the helmet’s design may one day be so advanced as to be position specific. Former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning pointed out another benefit of the helmet: “As someone who’s spent thousands of hours watching film, I know that no two players play the same way. They all have different styles and tendencies on the field, which is another key benefit to Riddell’s Diamond Technology. With the SpeedFlex Precision Diamond, players are not only experiencing the latest in head protection, they can also dictate where the helmet is positioned to improve sightlines and maximize field vision.”
The helmet does come at a price–$1,750—but there’s little argument that it’s not worth every penny.