Todd Herremans, a NFL offensive guard for the Philadelphia Eagles, is no newcomer to working out. He trains rigorously to maintain top physical form and is always looking for ways to improve his work-outs. To improve hand strength and dexterity, Todd started squeezing softballs and found that he was also developing different muscles in his arms. Since just squeezing the balls gave him different results, he wondered what would happen if he added these softballs to the weightlifting bar. After doing this, he noticed an even more effective way to gain muscle mass. Pleased with the results achieved from the softballs, Todd decided he needed a more permanent solution with better grip. He contacted Eagle Design and asked for their help.
When the details of the project were reviewed, Eagle Design determined that stereolithography 3D printing combined with injection molding would produce the best results with the quickest turn-around time. With the process already selected, it was time to choose a material that could be used in injection molding. The part was going to be complex with a spider webbing pattern as Todd designed them to be called Spyder Grips. Knowing this, the team at Eagle Design recommended Somos® NanoTool for its high strength and detail.
“A lot of time was saved using Somos® NanoTool. Traditionally, we would have had to create the inserts with our 5-axis CNC machine which would have taken twice as long,” says Don Portenga, Engineer at Eagle Design. “We were even able to injection mold 50 sets on our 200 ton Niigata Press from just one mold of Somos® NanoTool.”
They quickly prototyped the silicone split rubber balls and sent them to Todd to be tested in the gym. He loved them and ordered 50 more sets. Spyder Grips are now in Todd’s Health Clubs and many of the NFL players are using them to get a competitive edge by developing different muscles in their arms. Todd Herremans is now enjoying the added benefits of pumping iron with his Spyder Grips every day.
DSM Functional Materials