- New in-store experience, combined with proprietary 3D printing technology opening door to personalized consumer products
Bauer Hockey, the global leader in hockey equipment innovation, and EOS, the pioneer and market leader in industrial 3D printing, have collaborated to incorporate additive manufacturing into Bauer’s MyBauer custom equipment programme. The MyBauer REAKT Hockey Helmet uses 3D printed digital foam to ensure a perfect fit and equal comfort for each individual and unique head.
Ice hockey helmets have been evolving for over 50 years, and new 3D printing technologies are changing product development and the consumer experience in unprecedented ways.
“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.”– Mathieu Dejardins, senior brand manager of protective equipment at Bauer Hockey
Helmet with 3D Printed Digital Foam
Bauer investigated how to leverage and incorporate AM into their business by benchmarking all industrial 3D printing OEMs and discovered that EOS and its patented Digital Foam approach to printing polymers provided them with a distinct advantage. With MyBauer, personalised (individualised) products for ice hockey have now reached the mass market, and with the third generation of the REAKT helmet, the days of simply small, medium, or large offerings are over.
A player’s head can be scanned, a digital file created, and then a helmet insert – created to fit perfectly to its wearer – is 3D printed in Digital Foam, which involves a complex, varying lattice that is both personalised for the wearer for improved comfort, but also lighter weight – at 580 grammes – and greater breathability. After printing, the helmet inserts are coloured, finished, and redyed in preparation for final assembly. The REAKT helmet is vertically integrated and manufactured in Canada at Bauer’s Quebec facility.
“The innovation at Bauer is amazing, and the sports equipment industry is really starting to think about how to leverage 3D printing, and the role Digital Foam can play in all manner of protective gear, and products designed for comfort. We are proud of the role Digital Foam has played in the production of Bauer’s premium helmet offering. Conventional manufacturing is not going to be supplanted by 3D printing, but rather augmented by it and this project is a stellar example.”– Jon Walker, Digital Foam expert at EOS North America
The Bauer REAKT helmet is now available through select retailers who carry the MyBauer line of products.
About Bauer Hockey: Bauer Hockey is the world’s most recognised designer, marketer, and manufacturer of hockey equipment, as well as the sport’s No. 1 brand. Bauer Hockey, founded in Kitchener, Ontario, in 1927, invented the first skate with a blade attached to a boot, forever changing the game. Bauer Hockey has continued to develop the most sought-after products in the industry since then, including the widely successful SUPREME®, VAPOR®, and NEXUS® product lines.
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