Nutty Buddy Flex Athletic Cup
Male Genital Athletic Protection Cup
The redesigned Flex cup continues to follow the anatomically-correct shape of the human male’s anatomy using the design principle of Form Follows Function. The original Nutty Buddy design has been on the market for seven years. Inventor and pitching coach Mark Littell has received feedback from players about possible revisions to the original cup. The Flex redesign is in response to the users’ comments and feedback and to give athletes increased range of motion and added comfort.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
The Nutty Buddy Flex is a redesign of the original, anatomically-shaped athletic cup design. The original polycarbonate cup had a thin co-molded soft polymer perimeter edge to cushion the contact between the cup and the skin. The new Flex cup increases the content of the soft polymer edge to include the side areas on the cup, permitting a more comfortable fit during dynamic body movements. This Flex cup redesign absorbs and more evenly distributes impact forces to the pubic bone and soft tissues
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
The Flex cup high impact resistant polycarbonate material protects the male wearer’s genitals from external impact forces. The soft rubber wing provides cushioning comfort and absorbs any impacts. This cup can be easily installed into existing sport pants and jock straps.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The redesign process started in July of 2014 and finished in February of 2015 in Arizona. After the design work, it took 8 months from the start of manufacturing to reach the market.
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
This cup was made by PC injection mold with TPE overmold.
Polycarbonate (Sabic 124R-701) for the cup and Thermoplastic Elastomer (GLS 1040X-1) overmolding for the flex side. OM 1040X-1 is a medical compliant overmolding TPE with very good adhesion to PC or ABS-based plastics.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The cup comes with 3 different sizes.
Hog (small): 6.8x4x2.2 inch, Trophy (medium): 7x4.1x2.4inch, Mongo (large): 7.2x4.3x2.5inch
Nutty Buddy, Anatomical Cup, Killer Whale Cup
The difficult nature of observational research to get the measurements required the development of multiple sized vacuumed formed shells that were used to obtain user size and comfort feedback. Then, the designer collected and organized the human body data from the shell selections based on Large, Medium, and Small. Next, different sizes of prototype models were 3D-printed and tested by users. Again, feedback received from professional baseball players allowed the designer to modify the final shapes and sizes for each cup category.
After 5 years of use, feedback and surveys, we knew which areas needed improvement. Taking those areas – 1) added comfort 2) more flex 3) increased ventilation 4) greater security of location – and turning them into CAD design was one of the most challenging tasks. At the same time, we needed to maintain structural integrity and superior protection.
In addition, collecting human body data and defining different sizes of cup were a challenge. The head and tale part rubber were pilled off from the cup body after several months of use. The designer added some contacts and punched holes on the over molding part, so the inner and outer rubber were connected together. The tale part was broken by the high impact of water surface from a water ski jumper. The designer added 3 ribs inside of the tale part, and also added circle rings in the center of cup to increase the durability.
TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Designer: Professor, Dosun Shin and Designer: Former MLB Player and Pitching Coach, Mark Littell
Professor Dosun Shin, 2017
Patented. Patent No: US 7,004,921. Mark Littell. 2006 & US 7,670,309. Mark Littell. 2010