The Printed Athlete: How 3D Printing is Changing the Face of Sports

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Over the past two decades 3D printing has radically shifted the way that many industries design new products. The medical field uses the process for creating bespoke hearing aids and aerospace companies use it to design more efficient aircraft. However, one of the sectors that is on the leading edge of this revolution is sports. All the major sporting goods brands have started to adopt the technology. From 3D printed high end parts for F1 race cars to multi-colored 3D printed footwear prototypes at Nike; the opportunities offered by the new manufacturing process has the chance to transform how athletes and customers interact with the games they love. This talk focuses on how 3D printing technology already has and will continue to revolutionize sports using examples from Mike’s time at Burton Snowboards and Loughborough University’s Sports Technology Institute. Additionally topics such as the future of the technology and growing areas of innovation including mass customization and protective equipment will be discussed.

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