A Calibry 3D scanner from Russian developer of portable 3D scanners Thor3D has been used by the Italian national cycling team to improve its aerodynamics for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Cycling brands Pinarello and Hardskin, which are responsible for supplying the national team with bikes and sportswear, turned to Thor3D’s partner in Italy, 3DiTALY, to digitize bikes and athletes using of 3D scanning. The scans were then used to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of Italian athletes as this year’s Olympic Games approached.
Calibrate 3D scanning
Thor3D first presented its Calibry 3D scanner at TCT Asia in February 2019; the company’s first offering to use its own proprietary camera. The portable scanner was designed to scan historically difficult medium and large objects, such as body scans and entire cars.
With its name deriving the influence of a hummingbird due to its reduced weight and size, the scanner is equipped with Thor3D’s proprietary 2.5 MP texture camera technology, capable of collecting up to three million data points per second. The Calibry has a scan accuracy of up to 0.1mm and has an integrated touchscreen for viewing and processing scan data.
In January 2020, Thor3D announced two new software packages for its Calibry 3D scanner, revealing partnerships with California software developers nPowerSoftware and Pixologic to deliver its Calibry 3D scanners alongside the companies’ respective software technologies.
A few months later, Thor3D released a mini version of the Calibry scanner specially designed for scanning smaller objects in doctor’s offices, schools and museums. In addition to inheriting the technical capabilities and weight of its big brother, the Calibry Mini excels in precision. The scanner’s blue LED technology allows it to achieve an accuracy level of 0.07mm and a point resolution of 0.15mm, while providing an enhanced depth of field of 180-300mm.
More recently, Thor3D announced the latest version of its scan processing software, Calibry Nest 3.3, which offers a host of upgrades and new features. Improvements include support for new devices, faster texturing times, and new scan manipulation functionality to more fully link Thor3D scanners and the user’s personal computer.
Deployment of Calibry for cycling aerodynamics
In the world of professional cycling, speed is everything, with fractions of a second often separating success and failure. As the Tokyo Olympics approached, Pinarello and Hardskin came together to find ways to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the Italian cycling team to give them the best chance for success.
In February, they approached 3DiTALY to deliver digital scans of Pinarello’s athletes and bikes to the Montichiari Velodrome in the province of Brescia, the only indoor facility in the country dedicated to track cycling.
3DiTALY used a Calibry 3D scanner to produce scans of the athletes during warm-up and race imitations to find the most aerodynamic riding position. Athletes wore suits and helmets to fully simulate the racing experience.
Analyzes were completed in just two minutes, with the data post-processed in Calibry Nest software before being passed on to Pinarello engineers for further aerodynamic studies. The scans contained all the information necessary to analyze the riding position of the athletes and design a tailor-made handlebar that perfectly adapts to the arms of the athletes in order to obtain an optimal symbiosis with the bike. The handlebars will then be manufactured by Pinarello and integrated into the bike to increase the aerodynamics of the athletes while riding.
The contribution of 3D printing to the Olympic Games
Several Olympians have already taken advantage of additive manufacturing for their custom gear to save time and weight, among other benefits. Examples include Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 3D printed running shoes on display at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and the latest 3D printed 4DFWD midsole from Adidas and 3D printer maker Carbon which will be worn by several athletes at this year’s games in Tokyo.
Cycling in particular has sought to harness the benefits of 3D printing for Olympic success, with the French Cycling Federation also deploying custom handlebars to generate aerodynamic efficiency gains through 3D printing technology, which have been featured on team bikes during the Rio 2016 Games.
Likewise, global engineering firm Renishaw is looking to bolster the chances of Britain’s cycling team ahead of Tokyo 2020 with the design of a new track bike. The company has partnered with engineering company Lotus and bicycle engineering company Hope Technology to design the bike with 3D printed parts to enhance track performance with lightweight parts and an innovative design. .
And it’s not just athletes turning to 3D printing ahead of the Olympics, with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and International Olympic Committee (IOC) asking Proctor & Gamble to 3D print 98 podiums. reusable for game award ceremonies. The podiums are printed using recycled plastic sourced from over 2,000 locations in Japan and will feature an Olympic logo made from recycled aluminum.
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Featured Image Shows 3D scan an Italian athlete with the Calibry 3D scanner. Photo via Thor3D.