3D printing technology has come a long way since its invention. One of the groups that stand to make huge gains from this technology are athletes. It can be a bit hard for some people to visualize how 3D printing can benefit athletes. However, major companies have already taken on the challenge with amazing results.
How It Works
For most athletes, there is something known as breaking in. This is because each person’s feet are built uniquely. What this means is that there is only so much that sports equipment manufacturers can do. Thus, with the current modes of manufacturing, it would be impossible to manufacture a shoe that fits exactly to each foot.
This is where 3D technology plays an important role. It allows the manufacturer to scan the athlete’s foot and model a shoe that is exact to the contours of their foot. This means it reduces the break in time to zero. The effect for the athlete is that there is less break in time. This also means that their feet have a less likely chance of getting subtle injuries that could reduce performance.
Another area where 3D printing is playing an important role is the prosthetics area. Most athletes who participate in the Special Olympics have to contend with the prosthetics. These are usually general purpose built and at times, do not fit perfectly for the athlete. However, with 3D technology, manufacturers can actually come up with something specific for the individual.
The technology for 3D printing has really come a long way. In some cases, the shoes are printed as the customer watches. In some cases, one has to take photos and send them to the manufacturer. The shoes are then delivered with a very short period.
The best 3D printer is providing solutions to problems in areas that were unimaginable a while back. It provides manufacturers and athletes with solutions that would either have been too expensive or too complex to implement. The potential it has for athletes has yet to be fully exploited. Better things should be expected in future.