3D PRINTING SUPPORTS CYCLING
Dumoulin will wear a suit designed by 3D printing and scanning technologies.
The Tour de France is the oldest and most important event in men’s cycling in the world, regularly takes place every year since 1903, only interrupted by the world wars of the last century. Over time it has kept its charm and the technological evolution has enhanced the improvements in terms of sports performance of the participants.
This year’s event has a special importance for us of 3D Printing sector, because of team Giant-Alpesin’s choice to create a racing outfit for the Dutch cyclist Tom Domoulin using rapid prototyping technologies. In fact, Dumoulin will dress an innovative suit designed precisely through 3D printing and scanning technologies.
Because of Dumoulin workouts he could not be present for the entire creation process of the suit, so the team has enlisted a company specializing in 3D scanning that using 150 DSLR cameras has captured detailed photos of Dumoulin body from every angle to create a 3D scan of the athlete’s body through photogrammetry.
This particular “suit” has been designed in collaboration with researchers of TU Delft (Delft Technical University), starting from full optical scanning of the athlete’s body from many possible angles, and then reconstruct the 3D model using additive printing technologies. This allowed them to be able to work on an athlete’s realistic mannequin in his absence and to the setting up of the suit.
The life-size mannequin was printed in pieces and assembled in race position needed to test. Then, it was subjected to the various tests in the wind tunnel to develop an aerodynamic design, taking into account effects such as wind resistance and the materials and fabrics.
The model helped the team to create a customized suit optimized for Dumoulin, giving him a competitive advantage.
The researchers are confident that the dress will subtract seconds or fractions of a second from the overall time of the cyclist.