Duke Football 3D Printing


Northwestern is the home team against Duke with a 21 to 7 lead in the fourth quarter. Jones out of the shotgun takes the snap and pump fakes, pressure is coming, and he sacks! Gaziano got him off the edge back at the 25-yard line. When I first got hit I actually didn’t feel – – feel it immediately. I kind of felt it when I got up and started running and moving my arm. I realized something was – – was off and I thought I had a pretty good idea was my collarbone, so I went to get x-rayed there at the stadium. And it was tough to see it but they could see a fracture there. You know initially I was – – you know pretty crushed but got back to sideline and Hap told me that it was possible to be back pretty soon there in a few weeks so that became the goal and kind of went from there. I had – – you know the operation done the next day. They went in and put the plate in there and then kind of a healing process started from there. You know we get Daniel in here and Zach works with him, Kyle works with him, and the athletic trainers. You know, with treatment with his rehab with his exercises with all the things – – the strengthening – – with all the things that you do to help promote healing. There were a lot of people involved. So I got really into 3D printing with this independent study I had where I printed a wrist brace. So I talked to Hap about it last spring and took him to the 3D printing lab. And he absolutely loved it and thought it could do so many different things for athletics. So he came to me with Daniel’s collarbone issue and said I think if you create this brace type thing then it could really help with his – – it could really help to protect him in a game as soon as possible. It’s pretty neat to walk around see all these different 3D printers and what they can do. You know, they showed us a sample of a baby’s heart that they had made out of this rubbery material so that the physician – – the surgeons could practice before they actually did surgery. I gave – – it was pretty neat stuff. And so the application was in our minds and this happened with Daniel. You know how hard it was to protect the clavicle. So we thought this might be a good one to look into and then Clark and Kevin took the ball and ran with it. Basically, we’re gonna scan Daniel. As we do, the renderings will start to appear on the computer. Then, we will look to Clark for the software expertise. They had to develop a model. This involved them scanning the other player. In this case we had white light scanning equipment that was available to them as well as very wonderful pieces of software that allowed them to kind of refine that scan data down into a model. Once they’re done, then the process of actually creating the part begins. So basically we started with this model, which was just kind of a proof of concept. Obviously this is big and would restrict some motion. So after this process we were able to get the scan and create a custom mold to Daniel’s torso. Then we ended up with something like this which would fit custom to Daniel. And this was still a little bulky. He wanted a little bit more range of motion as he came across. So we continued to reduce the material and perfect the geometry. So we made a couple more changes before we ended up with where – – where we were satisfied with a final print. You could think of 3D printing and some processes as almost using like a hot glue gun and moving that back and forth very precisely until you stack up layers of hot glue to build your 3D part. So there were a couple prototypes that were done and this was our finished product. And it goes kind of like this right along if you can see this is Daniels clavicle here. And it kind of fits him just like that and then we used tape to put it on and it stayed in place. If he does get a hit here, as you can see, it would hit and distribute around it. Hopefully he wouldn’t feel anything or – – and it wouldn’t do any damage. Jones out of the shotgun has Jackson again to his right. Closing in on two minutes to play until halftime. Takes the snap, wants to throw. Good protection this time. Steps up in the pocket. He can run if he wants to. Angling to the left – – goes down. Yeah, I was I was pretty nervous before the game. I’m usually not that nervous, obviously, because we don’t play as much. But talking to Daniel after the game – – for him to tell us that it felt good, he barely noticed it, and it protected him that was a success in our mind. And we’re very excited. Clark and Kevin are two brilliant guys – – two of the smartest guys that that I know. You know, having people on your – – on your team who can you know at the drop of a hat go to work and 3D print a pad perfectly designed for your collar bone. It’s pretty phenomenal when you think about it. I think that these two brilliant students have come up with an amazing use case that again, just furthers the point and purpose of this technology and having these resources at Duke. Every time we get one of these new key use cases that come into our lab it just opens more doors. And I hope that these doors stay open and we continue to get more work. Hopefully that’s not as a result of player injury. It was really cool that students did that. I mean that’s one of the greatest things about it – – is that their role in this is really really important and allowed Daniel to to play safe, you know. So yeah, I mean, it’s a it’s a great thing. We have to use our resources. And our student athletes are part of our resources because they are brilliant and they do – – they are very talented and they do come up with great ideas and great things. And we’re already working on the next project. The collaborative nature of Duke is just incredible. I mean, for Daniel to come back in two weeks. It took the surgeons that did the surgery, everybody in the medical training room, Hap, Kyle, and Zac who all helped us to make this brace and it makes something that would fit him comfortably. And everybody that did his training and recovery. We just played a small part in him getting back healthy and surviving the game of being still healthy. Well, I personally think this is an incredible story to have two of your student athletes be instrumental in getting your starting quarterback Daniel Jones back on the playing field. When they approached you with this idea, what went through your mind? Just how smart they are. When you’re the football coach at Duke, there’s one guarantee: you’re gonna be surrounded by a bunch of young people that are smarter than you are. Both those young men are great teammates. It was not something they thought would be cute. It was their way to contribute to – – to Daniel – – to a teammate – – to a fallen teammate. Such pride in using their talents there. They’re brilliant, both of them. Both of them are dedicated football players and dedicated students. That’s exactly what Duke football is all about. I couldn’t couldn’t be more proud than I am of Clark and Kevin. Learning about this device, and then having Daniel use it in practice, what gave you that confidence to start him? Well, you know, Hap fell in love with this thing. He’s one telling our trainers – – telling me about this 3D printer and how hard this device is gonna be. He was convinced that Daniel was symptom-free, and felt no pain, and that with this device – – I mean there was really no way he was going to feel any contact. And as it ended up that’s exactly how it happened. So it was an easy decision on my part.

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