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Three Space 3D scanning wrist protector


Putting our arms out is a common defence mechanism to break falls and protect our head and torso. This can result in a compressive load being applied through the carpals which coupled with hyperextension can lead to wrist fractures. Fall related wrist injuries are a common among both the elderly and snowboarders.


Snowboard specific wrist protectors are commercially available and studies have shown they can reduce injury risk. Yet, there is no minimum performance standard these products should meet. The Centre for Sports Engineering Research is developing mechanical tests and suitable surrogates to evaluate the performance of a range of products. In order to develop anatomically representative surrogates 3d scanning was used to collect forearm and hand shape data. The 3d digital models were then processed using computer aided design software and physical models built using 3d printing.

Protectors are mounted to the newly designed surrogates and undergo a number of tests, so their protective capacity can be characterised in a repeatable and ethical way using mechanical tests. This body of work will influence a new International Standard for snowboarding wrist protectors. Supporting designers and manufacturers, to enhance consumer safety and ultimately reduce the risk of injury.

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