The Italian national cycling team is going for the gold at this week’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and in order to improve their aerodynamic efficiency for competition, the athletes were all 3D scanned, using the Calibry scanner, by 3DiTALY, the Italian partner of Thor3D. The results of these aerodynamic studies were recently outlined in a case study by the scanning company.
I’m not what you’d call a big sports fan, but that changes when it’s time for the Olympics—when I’m watching Team USA compete in gymnastics, swimming, beach volleyball, and other events, I yell at the TV louder than my husband does when he watches football. There are numerous examples of 3D technologies being used to help Olympic hopefuls win gold medals, and even earlier this month we heard about a custom 3D printed grip made for a French pistol shooter, and 3D printed bicycle components created for a member of Great Britain’s cycling team. These last two examples were for the Summer Olympic Games taking place right now in Japan, after being postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In terms of cycling, good aerodynamics are critically important to help athletes keep performing at top speeds. The goal of this case study was to capture the most aerodynamic position while a cyclist is decked out in full gear, and then take those measurements and give them to engineers from bike manufacturer Pinarello so they can fabricate custom handlebars.
Italian companies HardSkin and Pinarello, the latter of which is very familiar with 3D printing, supply the Italian national team with all of their cycling equipment; Hardskin is in charge of the sportswear, while Pinarello takes care of the bicycles. The two partnered up to figure out how to improve the team’s aerodynamic efficiency in time for the Tokyo Olympics.
Hardskin asked 3DiTALY to digitize both the Pinarello bicycles and the cyclists themselves, and the scanning process took place earlier this year at the Velodrome of Montichiari in Brescia—Italy’s first and only indoor facility fully dedicated to track cycling.
Because a 3D model file has all of the information required to analyze an athlete’s position, 3D scanning was chosen for the project, as the technology is a convenient and fast way to capture data. Fast is certainly right, as, according to the Thor3D case study, it only took 3DiTALY two minutes to make a series of accurate, high-resolution models using the Calibry 3D scanner.
Using the Calibry, the 3D body scanning first captured the athlete’s warm-up routine and preparation of “the mechanical medium,” followed by an imitation of an actual bike race in order to determine the most aerodynamic position for the cyclist. Finally, wearing a bodysuit and helmet to simulate the race, the athlete maintained race position on the bike while being scanned.
Calibry Nest software was then used to post-process all of the scan data, which was sent to engineers from Pinarello for the aerodynamic studies. Then, in time for this week’s Olympic Games, the bike manufacturer tailor-made a unique handlebar for the cycle, which fits the athlete’s arms perfectly.
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Stay up-to-date on all the latest news from the 3D printing industry and recieve information and offers from thrid party vendors.
You May Also Like
NASA Funds 3D Printing Research in 2022 SBIR/STTR Awards
Out of 333 proposals that NASA is funding as part of its 2022 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program, 24 are either creating new...
House 3D Printing, Bacterial Materials, and More Awarded by 3D Pioneers Challenge
The 3D Pioneers Challenge awards the best and most innovative breakthrough projects in 3D printing. This year, the jury selected projects from around the world across several categories, including medtech,...
200 3D Printed Houses Planned by Alquist 3D and Black Buffalo
Alquist 3D is a Virginia-based additive construction (AC) company, specializing in printing affordable, cement-based residential homes. Earlier this year, we covered a story about Alquist printing the first owner-occupied residential...
World’s Largest Concrete 3D Printing Facility Opened by GE Renewable Energy
The more that the renewable energy and additive manufacturing (AM) sectors evolve, the clearer it becomes how much the two industries have to offer one another. So far, this has...