Sep 12, 2016 | By Tess

While the 2016 Rio Olympic Games have wrapped up, and winners have been rewarded with medals, we at 3Ders are still excited to hear about the many different ways 3D technologies helped with athletes’ training and performances. From 3D printed handlebars for the French cycling team, to tracking Olympic swimmers’ movements with the help of additive manufacturing, we’ve been amazed at how the technology has been used in such a versatile way for the international competition. Recently, we heard about how Brazil’s own National Institute of Technology (INT), under the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications (MCTIC), developed a 3D technology to help improve the performance of the Brazilian fencing team.

Though Brazil’s fencing team did not take home any medals in the end, the INT did note an improvement during training of its national fencing athletes after using the innovative 3D Digital Platform Applied to Training Fencing, which itself is geared towards capturing and analyzing the athletes’ movements to determine in what ways they can be improved and adjusted for a better performance. The 3D digital platform took two and half years to develop and was funded by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, which provided R $ 400,000 (about $121,665).

Essentially, the 3D digital technology used a set-up of 18 high-definition cameras (capable of capturing 240 frames per second) to capture photos of the athletes in motion, and an additional set-up of four cameras to capture and record their eye movements. With the data from these images, a specially designed gaming-inspired 3D platform was able to breakdown the athlete’s performance and calculate where there was room for improvement. For instance, the 3D platform allowed for coaches and trainers to see such information as the speed of the sword, the arm of the opponent, and much more. Ultimately, the information is supposed to help the athletes to develop stronger attack and defense techniques.

Carla Patricia Guimaraes, researcher at the INT said of the technology and its results, “We compared the performance of four athletes who participated in the pilot stage and realized that they took advantage of the information obtained to improve performance during the game. They already showed an improvement compared to the first assessment.”

The Brazilian athletes who tested the 3D fencing technology and who then competed at the Olympic Games were William Melaragno, Nicolas Ferreira, and Rayssa Costa. And though they did not win any medals at the Rio Summer Games, perhaps Brazil’s fencing team will keep improving thanks to the technology and take home the gold in 2020.



Posted in 3D Scanning



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