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Nike used 3D printing and Olympic sprinters to design its new track .

by • August 2, 2016 • No Comments

More specifically, Nike utilized 3D printing to manufacture a set of various spike plates, every with a various amount of stiffness to meld perfectly with the sprinter’s sole. Shane Kohatsu, Nike’s innovation turn it into director, says the key here was to know how the plates rebounded off the track. That information may and so be utilized to turn it into a shoe that assisted runners go faster. The optimal edition needed to provide the right amount of assist as well as endure all the power exerted during a 100m race. At the same time, yet, it had to be lightweight adequate for the athlete to feel effortless.
In Fraser-Pryce’s case, you wonder why she’d be tempted to use a new shoe at Rio 2016. After all, she’s won gold in the women’s 100m in the past two summer Olympics. Why fix a thing that isn’t broken? But in a sport where one-tenth of a 2nd may be the difference between silver and gold, any advantage assists. And while the final turn it into of the Zoom Superfly Elite is not going to showcase a 3D-printed plate, the research was crucial to turn it into the plastic edition that over 100 Nike-sponsored athletes can wear at the Olympics.
A few of the 3D-printed plates turn it intod during Nike’s turn it intoment of the Zoom Superfly Elite
After testing additional than twenty 3D-printed plates, Nike decided to turn it into the Zoom Superfly Elite without the screw-in spikes traditionally discovered on a sprinter’s footwear. Instead, the company applied fixed pins on the bottom of the plate, that are turn it intoed to encertain that the foot is nearer to the track. In theory, this should translate to faster speeds for the runner. We’ll soon see how that works in practice, when Fraser-Pryce races in the women’s 100-meter preliminaries on Aug. 12th.
Kohatsu, who has led a number of other 3D-printing projects at Nike, believes in the innovation as a tool to manufacture advantageous products, not necessarily as the main aspect of a product. At very least not yet. “For us right now, 3D printing is all of accelerating the project, the innovation process,” he says. “The 3D printing industry isn’t at a place where it can replace weight production techniques. We use it for what it is most at doing, that is accelerating prototyping.” But, Kohatsu points to Nike’s 3D-printed concepts for football cleats, that show the future of 3D printing.
Nike archrival Adidas has in addition been getting serious of 3D printing in new months. Earlier this year, the German sportswear giant announced Futurecraft 3D, a running shoe turn it intod with 3D-printed materials. Even yet it is just a concept right now, Adidas says a consumer edition is in the works. The same goes for brands such as New Balance and Under Armour, that in addition added partially 3D-printed shoes a few months ago.
The old (left) and new (right) spikes
Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation Tobie Hatfield, who turn it intoed Michael Johnson’s iconic gold spike for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, in addition is not going to feel like 3D-printed footwear is eager for weight-market production. “We’ll 3D-print to have a thing for them [the athletes] to have in their hand,” he says in reference to turn it intoing his latest project, the Nike Zoom PV III, a shoe for pole-vaulters. “If the scale is correct, they can put it on and walk around in it, but they’re not going to go pole-vault in it. We don’t do any of that.”
Similar to the Zoom Superfly Elite (that hits stores in October), the Zoom PV III in addition had 3D-printed prototypes, alyet the tech wasn’t as influential there. That is definitely namely for the reason Hatfield has other machinery he prefers to use to turn it into parts.
Ultimately, Kohatsu says it is absorbing that folks see 3D printing as “an Easy-Bake Oven,” but he is not going to ponder the innovation is quite there yet. But, he’s certain Nike can go on to use 3D printing to assist turn it into things like the Zoom Superfly Elite and Magista 2. “If there’s a few way to manufacture a product that quite enhances the benefit for the athlete,” he says, “and so for certain we’ll be diving into that as rapidly as possible.”


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