Hockey is an extremely physical sport, where players are checked into sideboards and a dense puck made of vulcanized rubber is launched across the ice and into the air at dizzying speeds. To keep players as protected as possible in these circumstances, they are equipped with heaps of gear, from shin pads and elbow pads, to jock cups and neck guards. The head, of course, is protected too, with a helmet and often face guard or shield. However, the efficacy of a helmet is directly tied to its fit, which has led to a push in recent years to create more tailored protective solutions for athletes at both professional and amateur levels. Now, Carbon and equipment company hyoungcarbon CCM Hockey have released a new hockey helmet design, which leverages 3D printing and Next Evolution Sense Technology (NEST) to offer custom-fit head protection. “At Carbon, we are laser focused on enabling customers to bring innovative products to market that push industries forward,” said Carbon CEO Ellen Cull man. “We’re excited to partner with CCM Hockey, a leading manufacturer in hockey equipment for over a century, to produce a revolutionary hockey helmet that will change the game. “The helmet in question, called CCM Hockey’s Super Tacks X with NEST Tech, is manufactured using Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology. The aforementioned NEST technology consists of a lattice-structured liner designed to improve breath ability, comfort and protection. The helmet liner is also customized to the player’s head, providing better energy absorption and dissipation.
CCM Carbon Hockey helmet liner
The helmet with printed liner will be featured in the NHL’s upcoming season
which is scheduled to kick off this December. If you’re a fan of the ice sport, you may have already gotten a glimpse of the CCM Hockey helmet, as it was trialed by three players on the ice: Austin Matthews and John Tavares of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Seth Jones of the Columbus Blue Jackets. (All three reportedly only had good things to say.) But it’s not just the professional players that will have the chance to wear the new helmets: CCM revealed it will be releasing a 3D printed retail helmet for consumers in spring. “Super Tacks X with NEST Tech is a revolutionary helmet liner technology, bringing unmatched breathability, superior fit, improved comfort and elite level protection for our athletes,” said Jeff Dalzell, Vice President of Product Creation at CCM Hockey. “We’re thrilled to be working collaboratively with Carbon to bring never-before-seen innovation to the hockey industry with this new helmet.”
The jointly developed helmet liner is designed using Carbon Design Engine software, which generates an optimized lattice structure based on performance and weight criteria input by the user. The lattice has been engineered to handle the high stresses of a hockey game by aligning internal damping struts against the directions of impact that hockey players experience. The helmet liner consists of over 130,000 individual struts, each of which is tuned in a particular way. The liner also varies stiffness in certain areas by increasing or decreasing the thickness of the struts. This, Carbon explains, allows the lattice to absorb and safely disperse energy from linear and rotational impacts. This is not Carbon’s first foray into the world of sports, or into the production of helmets. Last year, American sports manufacturer Riddell adopted Carbon’s L1 3D printing technology to bring the first custom 3D printed helmet liners to market. The liner, also produced using a contouring printed lattice structure, is integrated into its Speed Flex Precision Diamond helmet for football players. A select group of NFL players were given the custom helmets to trial is. New for the season is CCM’s latest iteration of the Tacks stick line, the CCM Tacks Junior Hockey Stick! Boasting features such as X-Flow Technology, the CCM Tacks Hockey Stick pushes the boundaries of maximum performance!
Starting off with the construction
The Tacks Hockey Stick features a C6 carbon weave in the blade and shaft.
This carbon fiber weave provides great stiffness and strength for added durability within the shaft and blade. Paired with the C6 carbon fiber weave is the X-Flow Technology within the shaft. This improved molding process provides higher quality and consistency throughout the shaft! Excess resin and voids are removed within the shaft, improving stick durability as well as reducing the overall weight of the stick. The shaft of the Tacks Hockey Stick has been redesigned to feel more comfortable in the hands as well. Designed with the help of elite women’s hockey players and youth players, the Super Tacks AS Hockey Stick features rounded corners and concave sidewalls, which provide superior control and comfort during stick handling and shooting! The Tacks Hockey Stick features an optimized mid-kick point! The lower half of the stick has a stiff flex, and the mid-section has a softer flex, followed by an extra-stiff blade. This combination allows for a longer loading period, thus increasing the amount of energy stored, helping generate maximum power! The stiff taper, followed by the extra-stiff blade, helps improve stability and control on big slap shots and snapshots.