There's been a lot of discussion about the potential of 3D printing, but (let's face it) not whole lot of awesome stuff created from it widely available – there ain't many families printing out their new pots and pans from their study room yet. One thing it has been good for, however, is testing prototypes before mass production, and Nike credits 3D printing with helping innovate a new shin guard design for football players. If you play serious with the round ball, you'll know shin guards usually suck – they're bulky and full of foam and, while they're better than nothing, there's still plenty of pain in getting hacked down by a hack defender. The Swoosh team have created a new web design for support and protection and it looks intriguing, though we would have to test it out before we give it the big tick (not the Nike tick, it's already got that). The Mercurial FlyLite Guard will be available at Nike.com beginning July 1, but Nike have another 3D printed product to showcase too – they've created three stunning bags just for their World Cup superstars, Christiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Neymar Jr. You can read about the shin guards and bags here.
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