Meet Protect3d, a Durham-based startup recognized by the NFL for their innovative work in player safety

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Meet Protect3d, stylized with a “3” for its three founders but pronounced “protected” is a Durham based startup specializing in customized 3D modeled medical devices for athletes. 

Founded by a team of former Duke football players – Kevin Gehsmann, Tim Skapek & Clark Blueitt who were interested in exploring the use of 3D printing, the company offers a wide range of custom 3D devices to help players return from the most common injuries in sports.

Their work is defined by a three-step process. According to Protect3d, the entire process takes less than a week.

The team received $50,000 from the NFL’s 1st & Future competition at the Super Bowl for their work in innovations to advance health and safety.

Former Duke star Daniel Jones suffered a broken collarbone injury while playing for the Blue Devils. The injury usually requires extensive recovery time. With the help of the team of Protect3d, a custom, 3D printed device for Jones’ collarbone got him back on the field within three weeks!

Recently, Protect3d began a pilot program with NC State’s football team & for a couple of Duke guys wearing NC State gear, that was a sight for me — a Wolfpack alum to see. 

Protect3d says they have worked with various other teams in other sports and hope that their recognition from the NFL will help them reach newer clients.

Check out their story in the video player above.

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