As a world's first, Nike introduces its next wave of football cleat innovation at the 2013 NFL Combine: new Nike Vapor Laser Talon, the first football cleat to use 3D printing technology.
The quest for acceleration and speed has long been the north star for athletes across sport, and in order to excel in the game of football, the mastery of these skills is seen in the 40-yard dash. Played out on a national stage in Indianapolis, pro scouts clock 40-yard dash times in order to assess and translate these measurements to a football athlete's game-time ability.
The new cleat, built to "master the 40", weighing in at only 5.6 ounces (159 gram), is designed for optimal traction on football turf to achieve never-before-seen speed. Working with elite trainers within Nike SPARQ as well as gold medal sprinter Michael Johnson, Nike designers are trying to understand how he and his team train football athletes for the 40.
According to MJP Performance Director, Lance Walker, an athlete's "Zero Step" is a pivotal point that can make or break an athlete's 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.
The contoured plate of the cleat is fabricated on a 3D printer with Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology. The SLS process uses high-powered lasers to fuse small particles of materials into a 3-dimentional shape, allowing Nike to prototype a fully functional plate and traction system which is impossible with traditional manufacturing methods. In addition this also allows designers to update the design within hours instead of months.
"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" said Johnson. "Translated to the game of football, mastering the Zero Step can mean the difference between a defensive lineman sacking the quarterback or getting blocked."
(Images credit: Nike)
By using 3D printing, Nike is able to create solutions for evolving footwear, apparel and equipment to help athletes achieve their highest potential.
Posted in 3D Printing Applications
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Jeff wrote at 2/28/2013 6:32:17 PM:
Wasn't the first sorry. I made a football and soccer cleat already. Nike is just smoke and mirrors with their product being made by 10 year olds.
anayamous wrote at 2/27/2013 6:44:55 PM:
it is so awesome dude like totally rock on dude fureals