3-D Printed Shoes Give Racehorses A Titanium Lift
How fast could Secretariat go on lightweight titanium horseshoes?
A lucky horse in Melbourne, Australia, nicknamed “Titanium Prints,” is walking around with a spring in his step now that he’s been outfitted for a brand new pair of purple titanium horseshoes, 3-D printed for him by researchers from Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Horseshoes are usually pretty hefty hunks of metal, most often made of either steel or aluminum. For a horse that’s out rounding up cattle or going on meandering trail rides, a few extra pounds doesn’t make much of a difference, but for a racehorse, every ounce of effort it takes to lift up those feet puts seconds on the clock. So ol’ Titanium Prints got his hooves scanned by a handheld 3-D scanner, and his new set of custom shoes were printed in about a day.
The titanium horseshoes weigh about half of what a traditional aluminum shoe does, and costs about $600 for a set of four. That’s a lot more expensive than a regular old horseshoe (these cost about $15 each), but what’s a few hundred bucks in pursuit of thousands or even millions of dollars in winnings? Plus, fun colors!