We have recently seen numerous products such as D-Air Ski and D-Air Street, which provide sportspeople with specialized protection exactly where they need it. Now, from the Netherlands, Exo-L is a personalized, 3D scanned and printed, external ankle ligament. It is designed to strengthen the ankle and reduce sprains in highly active wearers — particularly sportspeople.
Exo-L is produced to order according to the precise specifications of the wearer’s body. It is then positioned over the Achilles tendon and fastened by strapping to the outside of the shoe via a special patch. The Exo-L presents a superior option to braces — which are uncomfortable and restrict flexibility — or tape, which is expensive and difficult to apply. It prevents the ankle from twisting but is only activated when the wearer moves dangerously, so interference with performance is minimal.
You can watch the video below to see it in action:
The Exo-L is currently only available in the Netherlands since it requires a 3D scan — from a list of Dutch locations on the Exo-L website — to be produced, but the company are currently undertaking a roadshow which visits many surrounding northern European cities too. Are there any other products which could use the precision of 3D printing to strengthen athletes’ bodies in the most vulnerable areas?