Younext and 3D technologies in the service of sport
This summer’s 2018 World Cup ended up with France coming out victories. In relation we met the company Younext, which designs tailored protection devices for sports and more particularly for football. The Spanish company prints 3D customised solutions, whether masks, shin guards or splints, the objective being to improve the performance of the player and allow him or her to play sports safely. The CEO of Younext, Miguel Subirá, explains what 3D technologies they use, what devices they can create today and to what extent 3D printing can be applied to sport .
3DN: Can you tell us about the creation of Younext?
Younext is a subsidiary of Podoactivia, a company specialising in podiatry and biomechanics that now has more than 100 clinics in Spain and is gradually becoming international. Half of our collaborators are chiropodists, about 120 people, and the other half are engineers, physicists, technicians and other profiles more focused on technology, design and personalisation of treatments.
Podoactivia has been working for 10 years with technologies like 3D scanning and robotics to create customized solutions. Younext uses the same philosophy of using new technologies to produce innovative products. The difference is that we wanted to extend it to other parts of the body and take advantage of the experience gained at Podoactivia.
3DN: What are the different services you offer and who are they for?
Younext now offers personalized products to protect people who play sports and improve their experience. All our devices are created from a 3D scan of the body part concerned. Currently, the products we offer are:
- Hand splints printed in 3D from a hand scan. The 3D scanner is made directly from the smartphone or tablet of the medical specialist through a depth sensor.
- Body part replicas for surgical planning – 3D models are designed from a 3D scanner.
- Motion analysis solutions in 3D without markers.
- Shin guards customised for football – we have an online store and an artificial intelligence system that allows you to customise the shin guard to the geometry of the athlete’s leg without having to digitise it in 3D.
- Facial protection masks so that the player can return to play as soon as possible after a serious injury to the face. They are fully adapted to the player, depending on the shape of his face, the injury suffered, etc.
3DN: What 3D technologies do you use?
We use different types of 3D scanners depending on the area of the body to be scanned, a design software – we have developed a large part of it – and 3D printers. We have 4 Zortrax M200 3D printers to make prototypes in ABS and HIPS. We also have a double extrusion Sigma BCN3D. To make larger pieces, we also have the Creality CR-10 500 mm high, the largest in its range. We use a 3D SLA Formlabs printer to create parts that have more details. Finally, we have a Mark Two to make carbon fiber and nylon products to make them stronger.
3DN: How important are 3D technologies to you?
In the field of sport, we are convinced that the need for customisation will be more and more important and this is where 3D technologies will have a real card to play.
3DN: What are your future projects at Younext?
We want to continue to create new personalised products that will help improve the quality of life for our patients. Each person is different and we believe that there is still a long way to go in terms of personalised treatments.
3DN: A last word for our readers?
We believe that technology and knowledge management through artificial intelligence are two aspects that will most influence the field of health because they will open doors in terms of personalisation. Visit our website to find out more!
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