Sunday, July 1, 2012

Lightest Running Shoe ever

Luc Fasaro is about to graduate from London’s Royal College of Art (RCA), UK and has already helped design the podiums for the 2012 London Olympics. His next project, “designed to win” custom running shoes, if successful is likely to impact on the 2016 Olympics in Rio. Fasaro has used 3D printing technology to produce prototype running shoes so light and perfect fitting the hope is this will improve athlete’s performance. The prototype footwear are the lightest running shoes ever at only 90g, and the shape and stiffness of the shoe create a perfect fit for the runner’s foot. It is hoped by optomise energy loss with unnecessary movement in the kinetic foot, this can be turned into improved perfomances. The shoes have been tested by amateur athletes and preliminary results are encouraging. 3D printing he is able to print a very precise and strong structure that bends just the right amount. The level of accuracy is only possible with 3D printing and can be kept constant across different sized shoes for different athletes based on the optimum level. It is finding this optimum level of stiffness that is now what is most important, and again Luc’s team of local athletes has been helping him, by using slow motion cameras and testing pair after pair of shoes. The materials used for 3D printing are made to be flexible and a nylon polyamide powder is used with a laser sintering based 3D printer.

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