Calibry 3D scanner streamlines aerodynamics in Italian cycling for Tokyo Olympics



A 3D scanner Calibry from the Russian developer of portable 3D scanners Thor3D has been used by the Italian national cycling team to improve its aerodynamics for the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Cycling brands Pinarello and Hardskin, which are responsible for supplying the national team with bikes and sportswear, turned to Thor3D’s partner in Italy, 3DITALY, to digitize bikes and athletes using 3D scanning. The scans were then used to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of Italian athletes as this year’s Olympic Games approached.

Calibrate 3D scanning

Thor3D first presented its Calibry 3D scanner at TCT Asia in February 2019; the company’s first offering to use its own proprietary camera. The portable scanner was designed to scan historically difficult medium and large objects, such as body scans and entire cars.

With its name deriving the influence of a hummingbird due to its reduced weight and size, the scanner is equipped with Thor3D’s proprietary 2.5 MP texture camera technology, capable of collecting up to three million data points per second. The Calibry has a scan accuracy of up to 0.1mm and has an integrated touchscreen for viewing and processing scan data.

In January 2020, Thor3D announced two new software packages for its Calibry 3D scanner, revealing partnerships with California software developers nPowerSoftware and Pixological to supply its Calibry 3D scanners alongside the respective software technologies of the companies.

A few months later, Thor3D released a mini version of the Calibry scanner specially designed for scanning smaller objects in doctor’s offices, schools and museums. In addition to inheriting the technical capabilities and weight of its big brother, the Calibry Mini excels in precision. The scanner’s blue LED technology allows it to achieve an accuracy level of 0.07mm and a point resolution of 0.15mm, while providing an enhanced depth of field of 180-300mm.

More recently, Thor3D announced the latest version of its scan processing software, Calibry Nest 3.3, which offers a host of upgrades and new features. Improvements include support for new devices, faster texturing times, and new scan manipulation functionality to more fully link Thor3D scanners and the user’s personal computer.

3D scan an Italian athlete with the Calibry 3D scanner. Photo via Thor3D.

Deployment of Calibry for cycling aerodynamics

In the world of professional cycling, speed is everything, with fractions of a second often separating success and failure. As the Tokyo Olympics approached, Pinarello and Hardskin came together to find ways to improve the aerodynamic efficiency of the Italian cycling team to give them the best chance for success.

In February, they approached 3DiTALY to deliver digital scans of Pinarello’s athletes and bikes to the Montichiari Velodrome in the province of Brescia, the only indoor facility in the country dedicated to track cycling.

3DiTALY used a Calibry 3D scanner to produce scans of the athletes during warm-up and race imitations to find the most aerodynamic riding position. Athletes wore suits and helmets to fully simulate the racing experience.

Analyzes were completed in just two minutes, with the data post-processed in Calibry Nest software before being passed on to Pinarello engineers for further aerodynamic studies. The scans contained all the information necessary to analyze the riding position of the athletes and design a tailor-made handlebar that perfectly adapts to the arms of the athletes in order to obtain an optimal symbiosis with the bike. The handlebars will then be manufactured by Pinarello and integrated into the bike to increase the aerodynamics of the athletes while riding.

The Calibry 3D scans were completed in just two minutes and the data was then processed in the Calibry Nest software.  Photo via Thor3D.
The Calibry 3D scans were completed in just two minutes and the data was then processed in the Calibry Nest software. Photo via Thor3D.

The contribution of 3D printing to the Olympic Games

Several Olympians have already taken advantage of additive manufacturing for their custom gear to save time and weight, among other benefits. Examples include Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce’s 3D printed running shoes on display at the last Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, and the latest 3D printed 4DFWD midsole from adidas and manufacturer of 3D printers Carbon which will be worn by several athletes during this year’s games in Tokyo.

Cycling in particular has sought to harness the benefits of 3D printing for Olympic success, with the French Cycling Federation also deploying custom handlebars to generate aerodynamic efficiency gains through 3D printing technology, which were displayed on the team’s bikes during the Rio 2016 games.

Likewise, the global engineering company Renishaw seeks to strengthen the chances of the British cycling team ahead of Tokyo 2020 with the design of a new track bike. The company has partnered with Lotus Engineering and bicycle engineering company Hope Technology to design the bike with 3D printed parts to help improve track performance with lightweight parts and innovative design.

And it’s not just athletes turning to 3D printing ahead of the Olympics, with the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the International Olympic Committee (CIO) asking Supervisor & Gamble to 3D print 98 reusable podiums for the award ceremonies of the games. The podiums are printed using recycled plastic sourced from over 2,000 locations in Japan and will feature an Olympic logo made from recycled aluminum.

The scans will be used to design a bespoke handlebar that perfectly fits the athlete's arms to improve aerodynamic efficiency.  Photo via Thor3D.
The scans will be used to design a bespoke handlebar that perfectly fits the athlete’s arms to improve aerodynamic efficiency. Photo via Thor3D.

Nominations for the 2021 3D Printing Industry Awards are now open, tell yourself who is currently leading the industry.

Subscribe to 3D Printing Industry Bulletin for the latest additive manufacturing news. You can also stay connected by following us on Twitter and love us on Facebook.

Looking for a career in additive manufacturing? Visit 3D printing works for a selection of roles in the industry.

Ssubscribe to our Youtube channel for the latest 3D printing video shorts, reviews and webinar reruns.

Featured Image Shows 3D scan an Italian athlete with the Calibry 3D scanner. Photo via Thor3D.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.