Tag Archives: Olympics
New Balance, a global leader in athletic shoes, has announced a specialized process for 3D printed shoes, focused on their high performance products for athletes. Elite athletes can now have their spike plates customized to individual specifications and created using 3D printing.
“With 3D printing we are able to pursue performance customization at a new level to help our elite NB athletes and eventually all athletes. We believe this is the future of performance footwear and we are excited to bring this to consumers,” said New Balance President and CEO Robert DeMartini. “As the only major athletic brand to manufacture shoes in the U.S., we are proud to invest in American workers. Developing our printing capabilities could ultimately help us further invest in the American worker by adding highly technical positions to our already skilled labor force in Massachusetts and Maine.”
More from the New Balance press release.
New Balance has developed a proprietary process for utilizing a runner’s individual biomechanical data to create hyper-customized spike plates designed to improve performance. The process requires race simulation biomechanical data which the New Balance Sports Research Lab collects using a force plate, in-shoe sensors and a motion capture system. Advanced algorithms and software are then applied to translate this data into custom 3D printed spike designs.
For the production of the custom plates, New Balance uses selective laser sintering (SLS) to convert powder materials into solid cross-sections, layer by layer using a laser. SLS printing enables the customization process by allowing for complex designs that could not be achieved through traditional manufacturing methods. Additionally, SLS printing greatly accelerates the turnaround time from design to functional part.
NB Athletes involved in the development of this process included: 2008 and 2012 US Olympic Athlete and current 1500m World Champion gold medalist Jenny Barringer Simpson, 2012 US Olympic Athlete Kim Conley, 2012 Great Britain Olympic Athlete Barbara Parker and 4 time All-American runner in the 800m, 1500m and the Mile Jack Bolas. These athletes provided key feedback in order to develop spike plates that spoke to each individual athlete’s personal preference, biomechanics and specific race needs.
“Utilizing our Team New Balance Athletes to develop the customization process was extremely helpful”, said Sean Murphy, New Balance’s Senior Manager of Innovation and Engineering. “We are impressed with their precise ability to identify and speak to the differences in the custom options provided. They are acutely aware of what is happening in their shoes”.
In addition to printing semi-rigid parts like spike plates for track runners, New Balance is working on softer SLS printed components that mimic the cushioning properties of foam midsoles. This initiative will be critical to bringing the customization process to a broader audience of athletes .
At the New Balance Games in January 2013, Team New Balance athlete, Jack Bolas, became the first ever track athlete to compete in customized, 3D printed plates.
Here are the top 10 most popular stories On 3D Printing brought you in August 2012.
Thanks for reading in August!
A roundup of the top news On 3D Printing brought you from July 30 to August 5.
Monday, July 30
- Shapeways Turns Four, Parties Like 3D Printing Rock Stars
- Bringing Woolly Mammoths and Dinosaurs Back to Life With 3D Printing
Tuesday, July 31
- Video: MIT’s Neri Oxman and Biologically-Inspired 3D Printed Systems
- 3D Printed Fractal Art Turned Into Beautiful Jewelry and Sculptures
Wednesday, August 1
- Stratasys and HP Part Ways on 3D Printer Manufacturing
- With Sites Set on LEGO, 3D Systems Cubify Launches Robot Toy Line
Thursday, August 2
Friday, August 3
Saturday, August 4
Team Great Britain has an edge above other teams, at least in cycling, thanks to 3D printing. UK Sport and British Cycling commissioned the design and production of custom cycling helmets, bespoke to each Olympic cyclist. Using laser scanning and 3D printing technology, the helmets were designed and prototyped in no time.
According to the company, the prototypes were physically used as part of the helmet fitting process; giving the athletes confidence that their helmet fit would be flawless.
Extensive testing found that aluminium honeycomb, often used within the aerospace industry, worked well as a material for the helmet core. When combined with the unique dual shell, it was said to outperform previous designs in terms of absorbing impact energy efficiently and ensuring deceleration forces weren’t transferred to the wearer.
Dr Scott Drawer, head of research and innovation at UK Sport, said: “Our job is to ensure our athletes make it to the start line among the best prepared and most feared in the world. Britain has a wealth of expertise in science, engineering and technology and by working with companies like Crux Product Design we can tap into a much wider network of skills and abilities from other industries to ensure we are leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of sporting excellence.”
Via Eureka Magazine.