Rivalry week: CD❌E contender in NFL Hel❌et Challenge

Posted: November 27, 2019


Play s❌art, play safe — even against your biggest rival. 

Buckeyes not only compete on the gridiron but also in laboratories on the cutting edge of additive manufacturing innovation. 

Engineers at Ohio State’s Center for Design and Manufacturing Excellence (CDME) are working to develop a new helmet for NFL players that outperform, based on laboratory testing, all helmet models currently worn. 

The project is part of the NFL Helmet Challenge, which is a $3 million innovation competition that aims to stimulate development by experts, innovators, and helmet manufacturers to supply safer football equipment. 

CDME is collaborating with Windpact on the creation of higher energy-absorbing materials to advance the health and safety of football players. 
An example of football helmet padding produced with a 3D printer.

Windpact is led by former NFL and Ohio State All-American cornerback Shawn Springs. Springs founded Windpact to find a solution that minimizes sports-related concussive head trauma.

Since its formation, Windpact has partnered with the NFL to develop padding system designs that absorb and disperse impact energy to improve the performance of helmets and other protective gear. 

Led by Dr. Edward Herderick, the director of additive manufacturing, CDME will take on the manufacturing and 3D printing portion of the project. Ohio State’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will contribute design and topology optimization. 

The techniques used will also be applied for the United States Department of Defense to protect soldiers, as well as helmet designs for cyclists, motorcyclists, and race car drivers.

Dr. Edward Herderick showcases helmet padding developed with additive manufacturing techniques.