Australian scientists have custom made and 3D printed a set of titanium shoes for one Melbourne racehorse to improve its racing performance, according to a latest research statement from CSIRO, Australia's national science body, on Thursday.
Traditionally made from aluminum, a horseshoe can weigh up to one kilogram but the horse's trainer John Moloney said that the ultimate race shoe should be as light weight as possible.
"Any extra weight in the horseshoe will slow the horse down. These titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminum shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds," John Moloney said.
According to the statement, using 3D modeling software, the scan was used to design the perfect fitting, lightweight racing shoe and four customized shoes were printed within only a few hours.
CSIRO's titanium expert John Barnes confirmed that the possibilities really are endless with this technology.
He said that 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," Barnes said.