Given the complete reliance on technology in creating the shoe, the project showcases the unlimited potential of 3D technologies
Creative engineer and designer Luc Fusaro is using 3D printing technology to create and manufacture custom built sprinting shoes for Olympic athletes. The sprint spikes was Fusaro’s final master degree solo project at the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London where he is currently student. He developed several soles and tested them on athletes by first scanning their feet to create a digital 3D model, then designed soles of varying stiffness before producing the physical items from sintered nylon polymide powder using an additive 3D printing technique.
Current working prototype “Designed to Win” weighs just 96 grams (3.4 oz)
Forsano tested the various soles in a lab to calibrate the mechanical properties of the shoe to the physical abilities of the athlete. Then he used the additive manufacturing process to produce the final athlete-specific “Designed to Win” prototype shoe that weighs just 96 g (3.4 oz).
The shoes could improve an athlete’s performance by up to 3.5 percent, when an improvement of 0.7% can already make a significant difference
Fusaro says his custom built 3D shoes could improve an athlete’s performance by up to 3.5 percent, when an improvement of 0.7% can already make a significant difference in a sprinter’s chance of winning a particular race. While Fusaro’s custom shoes won’t be on the feet of any athletes at the upcoming London Olympics, 3D printed athlete-specific shoes could become the standard footwear for sprinters well before the next Olympics in Rio in 2016.
A design that could disrupt the current production and manufacturing process of the sportswear industry
Complete with traction elements and shoelace features, “Designed to Win” is the very first sprint shoe fully made with additive manufacturing and Fusaro is hoping his design will disrupt the current production and manufacturing process of the sportswear industry by using rapid prototyping technologies to produce custom made athletic shoes.