Athletes are among the first to recognize the value of custom-made goods, as the perfect shoe or golf club can lead to even greater performance. It should be no surprise then that a number of leading brands have jumped onto 3D printing to provide custom goods for their athletes. The latest is the UFC, which has partnered with GuardLab® to produce custom mouthguards for those folks who love to pummel one another.
GuardLab relies on 3D scanning and 3D printing to create custom mouthguards, featuring their proprietary Alignment Repositioning Cushion (ARCTM) to ensure a comfortable fit and proper protection. To obtain a custom mouthguard, which start at $249.99 for adults for their first piece, customers must first schedule an appointment with a certified GuardLab dentist’s office to have their teeth 3D scanned. GuardLab then uses a MakerBot 3D printer to produce a mold for the actual guard. Now, through the UFC, GuardLab will be offering UFC-branded mouthguards to fans through the same process.
UFC Senior Vice President of Global Consumer Products Tracey Bleczinski says of the partnership, “With the ever-changing landscape in professional sports, we’re always looking for the next cutting-edge technology and innovation to aid athletes that compete in the UFC. We are excited to partner with GuardLab as they continue to develop products that help improve the overall performance and wellness of professional athletes.” GuardLab CEO Aidan Butler adds, “UFC is an exciting world-class organization, and we are thrilled about our partnership to equip and offer their athletes with what we believe to be a transformative piece of sports technology. We are committed to creating an engaging brand experience and delivering a superior product for athletes everywhere.”
In addition to the custom guards, the partners will also work to educate athletes about the use of protective guards and the health benefits therein. UFC athletes, themselves, will receive complimentary mouthguards at their events, which they can wear during training or while competing. That way, when those guards get socked out of their heads, the crowd can say, “Hey, 3D printing made that!”