Paper 13.173

J. F. M. Molenbroek et al., "From S-M-L-XL to Mass Customization. Case Study: External Ankle Sprain Protection with Exo-L", in Proc. of 4th Int. Conf. on 3D Body Scanning Technologies, Long Beach CA, USA, 2013, pp. 173-181,


From S-M-L-XL to Mass Customization Case Study: External Ankle Sprain Protection with Exo-L



1 Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands;
2 Exo Ligament, Delft, Netherlands;
3 Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, Netherlands


This paper presents the conducted research and development when creating Exo-L: "A bio inspired external ligament that effectively supports the ankle, without reducing the feeling of comfort and flexibility". It uncovers some of the early research and the patented technical proof of principal, as well as a glimpse of the roadmap to Exo-L's market introduction. It will be discussed how a customized product proves to be superior compared to an universal set of products in certain situations, and how the current state of technology enables customization on a large scale.
An ankle sprain injury occurs when high impact forces make the foot rotate beyond its normal range of motion. In addition to adequate training, an external support helps to prevent these injuries from happening. The similarity between the evolved principles of the foot's ligaments (biomimicry) was guiding the analysis and concept development process of Exo-L and a solution was found that supports the relative motion between two rigid parts (the foot and the lower leg) by an external ligament means.
It was recognized that most previously available ankle braces rely on fixing some universally sized components tightly around the ankle region and therefor reducing the feeling of freedom, which is a key element for performance. Exo-L transfers forces from a special attachment feature on the shoe to the lower leg by introducing a perfectly fitting half open clip, allowing pressure to be exerted onto the malleoli. Exo-L is tailor made by 3D-scanning the user's ankle and subsequent 3D-printing of the product.


Sprain, sport, injury, 3D anthropometry, ankle, external ligament, Exo-L


Full paper: 13.173.pdf
Proceedings: 3DBST 2013, 19-20 Nov. 2013, Long Beach California, USA
Pages: 173-181

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