Titanium Prints isn't the name of a new store, but the name of an Australian racehorse in Melbourne who had its hooves scanned with a 3D scanner to create a new set of very modern shoes.
Using 3D modeling software and metal 3D printing technology, scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization then output the ultra-lightweight racing shoes in less than 24 hours.
The cost? Some $600 for all four.
"Conventional shoes are heavier and cheaper," said titanium printing expert, John Barnes. "We believed the weight reduction would be worth the added cost."
In horse racing, everything is done in service to the ultimate goal; speed.
Titanium Prints' trainer, John Moloney, wanted four shoes which would be as light weight as possible.
"The titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminum shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds," Moloney said. "We're very excited at the prospect of improved performance from these shoes."
According to Barnes, using 3D titanium printing demonstrates the wide range of applications the technology can be used to address. During the process, each of the horse's hooves was scanned to create a custom contour for fitting.
Australia produces more titanium ore than any other place in the world, and they also produce some pretty fast racehorses. Clearly a match made in heaven.