Zenith Tecnica, Auckland, New Zealand, has collaborated with High Performance Sport New Zealand (HPSNZ), Auckland, New Zealand, to provide titanium additively manufactured prosthetics for para athletes preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Zenith Tecnica specialises in the design and manufacture of parts from titanium using Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing (EBAM). HPSNZ is a sporting technology company which works with National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) to provide high-performance sporting equipment and solutions.
The prosthetics were produced for Holly Robinson, who has already broken the world record in the F46 Women’s Javelin with a throw of 45.73 m at the 2019 Australian Track & Field Championships, and Anna Grimaldi, who won Gold in the Women’s Long Jump T47 and 4th Women’s 100m T47 at the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Through working with Duncan Anderson, the Hardware Engineer at HPSNZ, Zenith Tecnica was able to develop and produce advanced, tailored prosthetics for the two athletes.
It is hoped that the additively manufactured prosthetics will provide Robinson and Grimaldi with an advantage over the competition as they prepare for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. According to HPSNZ, the AM titanium equipment will open up training methods and exercises to the para athletes which would have previously been impossible due to the limitations of their former off-the-shelf prosthetic solutions.
Peter Sefont, Production Manager at Zenith Tecnica, stated, “Zenith Tecnica offers a freedom of design to a lot of engineers, so we are not constrained to classical manufacturing methods like machining and casting. It allows us and the engineers to do whatever we want.”
“This is a piece of equipment that would enable them to train like an able-bodied person; granting the use of both arms with a full range of movement, achieving a full body balance,” explained Raylene Bates, High Performance Coach at Athletics New Zealand.
Dr Stafford Murray, Head of Innovation at HPSNZ, added, “Zenith Tecnica 3D printed the new attachment for Holly and Anna to use in the gym. It’s providing them with something different that you can’t buy off the shelf, that enables them to be the best that they can be.”
Both para athletes will be competing in the 2019 Oceania Area and Combined Events Championships in June, which it is hoped will provide the ideal opportunity to demonstrate how the use of Additive Manufacturing has benefited their performance ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.