Nike claims world first in 3D-printed football boot plate

2013-02-28  WRITER:  SOUCE:网络  

Sportswear group Nike has launched an American football boot that incorporates a revolutionary 3D-printed plate and which it says is the sport's first.

The plate of the cleat is crafted using Selective Laser Sintering technology (SLS), which uses high-powered lasers to fuse small particles of materials into a three-dimensional shape. Through proprietary material selection, Nike was able to prototype a fully functional plate and traction system within a fraction of the traditional time frame and at a fraction of the weight. The SLS process allows for the engineering and creation of shapes not possible with traditional manufacturing processes, said the company, as well as the ability to make design updates within hours instead of months.

“SLS technology has revolutionised the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes,” said Shane Kohatsu, director of Nike Footwear Innovation.

The Nike Vapor Laser Talon weighs 5.6 oz and is designed for optimal traction on football turf by helping athletes maintain their “drive stance” longer.

Nike designers worked with trainers as well as long-time partner and gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson to understand how he and his team at Michael Johnson Performance (MPJ) train footballers over the “40 yard dash”.

MJP performance director Lance Walker said an athlete’s “zero step” is a pivotal point that can make or break an the "40" time. In the moments before that first step hits the turf, his propulsion and acceleration speed are determined. At that point, it’s all about geometry, he says.

Mr Johnson added: “Nike’s new 3D printed plate is contoured to allow football athletes to maintain their drive position longer and more efficiently, helping them accelerate faster through the critical first 10 yards of the 40."

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