As the 2013 NFL Combine comes to a close, Nike debuted their new, ultra light Vapor Laser Talon football cleat to great fanfare. What does that have to do with printing you ask? Well, in order to create the 5.6 ounce football cleat, Nike jumped on the 3D printer bandwagon and created “the sport’s first 3D printed plate.”
The 3D printed plate is made using Selective Laser Sintering technology, which uses high-powered lasers to fuse small particles of materials into a 3-dimensional shape. Thanks to this new tech, Nike claims they created the 3D printed plates within a “fraction of the traditional timeframe and at a fraction of the weight.”
The idea behind the 3D printed plate is to allow athletes to achieve better traction and maintain their drive stance longer decreasing their 40 yard dash times.
This is yet another new market that 3D printing has been incorporated into and it seems that going forward, 3D printing will continue to offer new solutions to some of the biggest markets in the U.S. and around the world.