3D Printing at the Olympics 2016
It’s only been a few days since the closing ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympics and I’m going through a bit of withdrawal so I thought it’d be fun to take a look at two of my favorite things: 3D printing and the Olympics. 3D printing at the Olympics made a big splash this year and is quite possibly the reason behind the backlash around Gabby Douglas at the team gymnastics awards ceremony.
You see, this years Olympic logo was designed by Tatil and was 3D printed as a mini statuette and given away to every athlete to them to take home. This is huge in terms of spreading the word about 3D printing to the globe, and I wish that there was more big news network coverage of the fact that the logo was designed in CAD 3D modeling and then 3D printed for 11,303 athletes. In either case, having to hold the 3D printed logo is probably what kept Gabby from remembering to put her hand over her heart during the US National anthem, which we can forgive her for because she brought home the gold!
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica who got bronze in the womens 100m, worked with Nike to design and produce her custom 3D printed outsoles for the Superfly Elite shoe. By being able to rapidly prototype many different versions of the spikes on the bottom of her shoe to ensure optimum performance and power, the creation process was nearly as fast as she is. Nike has actually 3D printed outsoles for 22 shoes all in the track and field sports sphere.
Even though he doesn’t need 3D printed footwear for his event, Under Armour created a pair of patriotic 3D printed shoes for Michael Phelps called the 3D Clutch Fit. Apart from being custom fit for him, Under Armor added a sweet touch by putting an imprint of his son, Boomer’s footprint on the sole of the shoe. This is really where I can see 3D printing taking off in the general consumer shoe market – is by adding that nice touch of sentimentality that your loved ones are with you at every step of your journey.
Final Thoughts on 3D Printing at the Olympics 2016
3D Printing at the Olympics this year consisted of shoes and take home logos, one can only wonder what this technology will improve upon and be able to accomplish by the 2020 games in Tokyo. With advancements in 3D scanning, 3D printable textiles and fabrics, and overall a better understand of what 3D printing can do in terms of custom fit and custom design, this technology could add to any athletes competitive edge.
- Tatil – 3D Printed Olympic Logo Design Company
- Nike and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce
- Nike’s line of 3D Printed Track and Field Shoe Spikes
- Under Armour and Michael Phelps’ 3D Printed Shoes
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