When it comes to 3D printing and footwear it’s not just the fashion industry that’s reaping the benefits, because sportwear’s getting in on the action too. As part of this year’s thesis show at the Royal College of Art in London, Luc Fusaro presented this golden running shoe as his Designed to Win project.
Fusaro’s shoe uses additive manufacturing to create customized, athlete-specific shoes. First he scans the athlete’s foot to create a digital 3D model, then creates a range of soles with varying stiffness which he then 3D prints so they can be tested and optimized in the lab. A working prototype is then produced and track-tested before a final version is made. And at 96 grams it’s the lightest sprint shoe ever made.
In an age when fractions of a second can define winners and losers, the right footwear and clothes are crucial because they can affect an athlete’s performance. And, according to tests carried out, the Designed to Win shoes improve performance by 3.5 percent which could make all the difference between first and second. Or second to last and last.