A 3D set of titanium shoes have been printed for one Melbourne
racehorse by CSIRO scientists.
with 3D shoes
In what is a first for the sport of racing, the horse, dubbed by researchers as Titanium Prints, had its hooves scanned with a handheld 3D scanner.
Using 3D modeling software, the scan was used to design the perfect-fitting lightweight racing shoe and four customised shoes were printed within only a few hours.
Traditionally made from aluminum, a horseshoe can weigh up to one kilogram but the horse’s trainer, John Moloney, says the ultimate race shoe should be as lightweight as possible.
“Any extra weight in the horseshoe will slow the horse down. These titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminum shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds,” Mr Moloney said.
“Naturally, we’re very excited at the prospect of improved performance from these shoes.”
Titanium expert at CSIRO, John Barnes, said that 3D printing a race horseshoe from titanium was a first for scientists and demonstrated the range of applications for which the technology could be used.
“There are so many ways we can use 3D titanium printing. At CSIRO we are helping companies create new applications like biomedical implants and even things like automotive and aerospace parts,” Mr Barnes said.
“The possibilities really are endless with this technology,” he said.
Edition 384, 22 October 2013