Olympic History – 10 Things the Olympic Games Have Made Popular: 3D Printing
Stratasys (SYSS) has good reason to trumpet the role that 3D printing played in the 2012 Summer Games — everything from customized running shoes to prosthetics and models of the Olympic stadium. After all, along with other 3D printing industry leaders like 3D systems (DDD), it’s making a concerted effort to take 3D printers into the consumer mainstream.
Even while manufacturers struggle with challenges like expensive hardware, long print times and costly plastics, 3D printing has taken off at the commercial level, and the Olympics has helped to popularize the technology.
Shoemakers in particular are leveraging what they learned during the Olympics and making the most of commercial 3D printing technology to churn out sports shoes that are lighter, more specialized and faster to market than ever.
For a good example of how 3D printing is reshaping the sports shoe market, check out the 3D-printed cleats on the Nike (NKE) Vapor Carbon shoes worn by NFL players at Superbowl — and available in stores.