“It’s very difficult to 3D print solid materials. This has traditionally been one of the hardest parts of pursuing 3D printing technology, but it’s something that we’ve figured out how to do, ”said Zabala, CEO of XO Armor. “We are able to give these guys stuff that is not only perfectly suited to their body shape, but is also extremely strong and can withstand any abuse they could take during the season.”
The workload of Zabala and his three graduate students with Auburn athletics has not decreased since 2019. This football season, XO Armor has produced finger guards for defensive linemen Daquan Newkirk and Big Kat Bryant as well as a shoulder pad for running back DJ Williams, who scored a touchdown against Kentucky while wearing it.
They also created a thumb pad for Auburn soccer goalie Maddie Prohaska, who wore it against Mississippi State on September 18 when she made eight saves and won the honors of the first year of SEC week.
Zabala said XO Armor received positive feedback from the athletes, who said they couldn’t even tell the suspenders were there. Zabala highlighted how valuable each individual’s specific contours are, as the ability to go beyond one-size-fits-all braces avoids unnecessarily bulky equipment and in turn builds athletes’ confidence that they can play at. their full potential.
XO Armor has plans beyond Auburn athletics, as at least one other university in Alabama as well as others in the Southeast have expressed interest in their products. West Virginia has received shoulder pad samples and is working with the company to develop even more options for their teams. They also recently created a shin guard for a soccer player in Buenos Aires, Argentina, who Zabala said noted that “the fit is perfect”.