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Student Creates World's Fastest Shoe With a Printer 144

Posted by samzenpus
from the if-you-print-it-they-will-run dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Engineer and designer Luc Fusaro from the Royal College of Art in London has developed a prototype running shoe that can be uniquely sculpted to any athlete's foot. It's as light as a feather too, weighing in at 96 grams. The prototype is aptly named, Designed to Win, and is 3D printed out of nylon polyamide powder, which is a very strong and lightweight material. The manufacturing process uses selective laser sintering (SLS), which fuses powdered materials with a CO2 laser to create an object. This process means 3D scans can be taken of the runner's foot so as to ensure the shoe matches the shape perfectly. Fusaro can also change the stiffness of the soles according to the athlete's physical abilities. The shoe can improve performance by 3.5%, meaning a 10 second 100-meter sprinter could see his time drop by 0.35 seconds, which is a huge time saving relatively speaking. Imagine if Usain Bolt put a pair of these running shoes on."
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Student Creates World's Fastest Shoe With a Printer

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  • nylon fumes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Gnaythan1 (214245) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:24PM (#40596599)

    I wouldn't want to print this at home though... needs a specialty place... with a fume hood.

  • Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metrometro (1092237) on Monday July 09, 2012 @05:34PM (#40596701)

    3D printing is neat and all, and congrats on a new use for the tech. But can we please put these one some people and run them around before saying bullshit like "Apparently the shoe can improve performance by 3.5%"?

  • Braaaaiiins (Score:4, Insightful)

    by FatLittleMonkey (1341387) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:10PM (#40597033)

    Imagine if Usain Bolt put a pair of these running shows on.

    Have years of spell-check trained us all to type perfectly spelt, but completely incorrect words? Or did we always do this? I catch myself doing it all the time. I find it amazing that your brain can think up and type a completely unrelated word, but have enough sense to spell it correctly. And to read the sentence as you type it, somehow seeing the intended word. (I'm also nervously interesting in which words I inevitably screw up in this post.)

    [lol, yeah I saw that in preview, but left it in.]

  • Re:ponderous (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:20PM (#40597113) Homepage

    For all practical purposes, the major contenders do get equal access to technology, because they all have the funding to buy from the same place. The underdogs compete with older equipment, and accept that the relative performance hit is part of what makes them underdogs. If their athletes still do well (better than the equipment's performance gap would explain), they're more likely to be well-funded in the next round.

    Even with the best equipment available, the main contest is still one of skill. The best running shoe in the world won't help you if you don't have the endurance to use it or the stride to keep an appropriate pace. As I recall, some equipment will actually reduce an athlete's performance if they aren't already highly trained, because the gear is specialized for a particular use pattern. Even without the aid of a particular swimsuit, Michael Phelps is still clearly a spectacular swimmer.

    In my opinion, the Olympic motto of "faster, higher, stronger" doesn't just apply to the athletes from the participating countries. It also applies to the human race as a whole, including our technology. There should be no limit to what technology's permitted as long as it meets three criteria:

    • The technology must not harm the athlete any more than the sport itself
    • The technology must not diminish the expression of the athlete's skill, nor replace any normally-functioning part of the athlete's body, except as required by the sport itself
    • If the technology cannot be transferred or adapted to a normal human body, it must not alter the characteristics of the athlete's body in any manner to improve their performance in the sport, except as required by the sport itself.

    By this definition, almost all current training methods would be allowed, almost all prohibited substances would still be banned, and those who have medically-necessary prostheses would still compete at normal levels, as long as their prostheses don't give them superhuman performance (like extra shock absorption in a runner's legs). Any technology that's a part of the sport is obviously still allowed, just in case cyborg telekinetic dodgeball ever becomes an Olympic sport.

  • Re:Braaaaiiins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:26PM (#40597167) Homepage
    Don't attribute to a lazy brain that which is adequately explained by a fat finger.
  • Re:Citation needed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HapSlappy_2222 (1089149) on Monday July 09, 2012 @06:31PM (#40597221)
    Depends on how you fluff the math, as always. What if I said a 3.5% performance increase, but applied it to acceleration AND max speed, and then recalculated? I don't really want to do that math but I expect it'd be as far different number than a 3.5% better time.

    People that abuse statistics are the dirtiest liars of all.

...when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. - Fred Brooks, Jr.

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