Ti­ta­nium horse­shoes are printed in hours

DEMM Engineering & Manufacturing - - 3D TECHNOLOGY -

Sci­en­tists have 3D printed a set of cus­tom made ti­ta­nium shoes for a Mel­bourne race­horse in a first for the sport.

The horse, dubbed by re­searchers as ‘Ti­ta­nium Prints’, had its hooves scanned with a hand­held 3D scan­ner.

Us­ing 3D modelling soft­ware, the scan was used to de­sign a set of per­fect fit­ting, light­weight rac­ing shoe – four cus­tomised shoes were printed within only a few hours.

Tra­di­tion­ally made from alu­minium, a horse­shoe can weigh up to one kilo­gram. The horse’s trainer, John Moloney, says that the ul­ti­mate race shoe should be as light­weight as pos­si­ble.

“Any ex­tra weight in the horse­shoe will slow the horse down,” he says. “These ti­ta­nium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a tra­di­tional alu­minium shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds.

“Nat­u­rally, we’re very ex­cited at the prospect of im­proved per­for­mance from these shoes.”

Ti­ta­nium ex­pert John Barnes of CSIRO, says 3D print­ing a race horse­shoe from ti­ta­nium is a first for sci­en­tists and demon­strates the range of ap­pli­ca­tions the tech­nol­ogy can be used for.

“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.

“The pos­si­bil­i­ties re­ally are end­less with this tech­nol­ogy,” he said.

The scan­ning process takes a few min­utes and print­ing of the shoes can start right away.

Photo / sup­plied

CSIRO re­searcher Chad Henry pre­sents 3D-printed race shoes to the Mel­bourne race­horse ‘Ti­ta­nium Prints’.

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