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The 3D printing (additive manufacturing) industry hashad a lot of publicity recently. All of the 3D printing information I have been exposed to has been fascinating and informative. The stories shows today's productive applications while highlighting the amazing potential in the future. Yet, some people believe that there is a negative side to 3D printing, more specifically 3D printing in the sports industry.

“It is vital for sports regulators to work with engineers to make sure these advances are introduced fairly and openly so the sporting world isn’t taken by surprise.”

According to a report released by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, there are concerns that new technological advances in nanotechnology, 3D printing and biomedical engineering may create an unfair advantage (‘technology doping’) in the sports industry. They insist on sport officials teaming up with engineers to predict results of these new technologies.

Some of the technological advances include improving hydrodynamics of a swimmer with the use of 3D scanners and mapping or 3D printing a shoe (or any piece of equipment for that matter) minutes before the event to optimize for weather conditions, injuries or even the athlete’s physical state. These technologies are predicted to be available within a few years to elite athletes.

I tend to view things with an optimistic (yet realistic) attitude and see this as more of a step forward in science and technology rather than another way for unfair advantages to affect sports.

How do you feel these new technologies will affect sports? Do you think that it can be monitored properly for fair play?

For more technological advances and information on the report, please visit:

http://www.imeche.org/news/archives/12-07-04/Sports_regulators_must_work_with_engineers_to_stop_technology_doping_in_sport.aspx    

 

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