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The Need for Speed: 3D Printed Horseshoes


According to Australia Network News, researchers in Melbourne from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have created state of the art horseshoes using additive manufacturing.  These titanium purple shoes are for a racehorse nicknamed ‘Titanium Prints’.  “CSIRO’s Titanium expert John Barnes says it takes less than 24 hours to print four customized shoes for a horse and it costs approximately 600 [Australian Dollars] for all of them.”  Although this is slightly more expensive than the standard aluminum horseshoe, it is much lighter.  “We believe the weight reduction would be worth the added cost.”  Mr. Barnes added.  John Moloney, the horse’s trainer, “says that the ultimate race shoe should be as light weight as possible.  ‘Any extra weight in the horse shoe will slow the horse down.’ He said.”  Moloney went on to illustrate how this new 3D printed shoe is about half the weight of a traditionally manufactured shoe.  Mr. Barnes believes these shoes “demonstrate the range of applications [3D printing] can be used for.  ‘We wanted to highlight an area of 3D printing that we feel isn’t getting enough attention,’ he said, ‘ we wanted to show people how a custom piece could be made and the design flexibility within the process.  Each hoof was scanned and a custom contour made.  Further design optimization can take more weight out which also takes out cost.”

Photo and Quotes Courtesy of Australia Network News     

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