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Skinsuit designed with help of 3D printing gives cyclist Tom Dumoulin competitive edge at Tour de France – 3ders.org (blog)

by • July 13, 2016 • No Comments

Jul 14, 2016 | By Tess

Within the world of sports, and in the wake of an amazing Euro football Cup and Wimbledon final, all eyes are on the historical Tour de France bike races. The tour, which began early July, is now in full swing and spectators are undoubtedly ready to see the outcomes of the next individual time trials, which can take place in the next, July 15th. If you tune in for the time trials, be certain to store an eye out for Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin, who can be sporting a new biking skinsuit turn it intod with the assist of 3D scanning and 3D printing technologies.
The skinsuit was turn it intod as a joint effort between Team Giant-Alpecin (Dumoulin’s team) and The Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in an effort to donate the pro cyclist a competitive edge against his competitors in the next race. For those less acquainted with the sport of biking, race outcomes are frequently determined by fractions of a 2nd, so having any sort of advantage, such as an extra aerodynamic suit, may be the deciding factor.

The custom turn it intod skinsuit was turn it intod via a novel approach throcky which a team of TU Delft were able-bodied to 3D scan Dumoulin’s body in a biking position, 3D print a life-size replica of him, and test a number of different types of materials and suit creations on the 3D printed mannequin inside a wind tunnel. Throcky this system, the team of researchers along with Team Giant-Alpecin were able-bodied to turn it into an optimized and custom fitted skin suit for the Dutch athlete.
The initially step in creating the skinsuit was to 3D scan Dumoulin’s body. This was necessary seeing as having the athlete himself around for all the testing was virtually not easy due to scheduling. For the scanning system, the researchers enlisted the assist of 3D scanning company th3rd, who captured a detailed and accurate scan of the cyclist via a photogrammetry method. The whole system, which involved 150 DSLR cameras capturing photos of Dumoulin of all angles, took only of 30 minutes.

The next step was 3D segmenting all the data of the 3D scan to turn it into a workable-bodied 3D version of Dumoulin’s body. Dr. Jouke Verlinden, part of TU Delft’s Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, explains, “It’s key to use the data correctly, for example by splitting up the files in a smart way: the so-called 3D segmenting. You should in addition determine where the accuracy of the scan and the outcomeing print is pretty less significant. In those areas you can strongly reduce the amount of data you require. If you aim to make a version which is accurate to the micrometre throckyout, you will end up spending way too much time printing the mannequin.”
Once the 3D version was made, the team of researchers began the 3D printing system. Of course, to turn it into a life-size version of the cyclist, they had to break the print up into eight separate parts. The parts were printed via multiple FDM printing devices, and took a total of 50 hours to make. The 3D printed body parts were and so assembled with easy-to-use pin and hole joints into the athlete’s biking position.

To test different types of materials and suits, the mannequin was donaten to Wouter Terra, a PhD student in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft, who recorded outcomes of a number of wind tunnel tests. The material testing system, for its part, was not as easy as one can assume. Terra explains, “You may assume a smoother fabric to induce less drag. But this is not always the case—especially when looking at the airflow around a rounded, blunt, non-streamlined shape, like the body of a cyclist.”
According to Terra, sometimes a ridged surface can in fact be additional beneficial in an aerodynamic turn it into for the reason of the two types of drag at work: drag throcky friction and drag throcky prescertain. “Throcky the rockyness of the ribbed pattern, the drag throcky friction can increase, but the drag throcky prescertain can drastically drop. The net drag can and so minimize,” he continued. “An inventive combination of rocky and smooth spots on the suit can only outcome in a minimize in drag of half a percent, but this may potentially donate those precious 2nds which make the difference between winning or being in the top 10.”

Initially, materials supplied by Etxeondo, a cyclist clothing supplier, were tested in order to donate insight into which types of materials were the many efficient for the race per body part. In the end, a number of suits were turn it intod via a variation of both smooth and textured materials and tested for drag inside the wind tunnel. Working with a Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) method, airflows were mapped and meacertaind to see which combination of materials provided the most outcomes.
The skinsuit which outcomeed of the research testing can be worn by Tom Dumoulin in his next time trial race and researchers assume it can assist shave a few 2nds (or fractions of a 2nd) off of his total time. According to the team, “We meacertaind a clear difference in drag between the different types of materials. A difference of only one percent in drag, to name but a number, can not seem much, but can outcome in a time saving of of ten 2nds in a hour-long time trial.” The high end skinsuit can undoubtedly in addition donate Dumoulin an extra psychological boost, maybe improving his overall performance. Of course, we will have to wait and see with the outcomes of the race in the next.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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