Olympic sport keeps pushing athletes to find new ways to condition their bodies. The same is true with their equipment and engineers continually look for new refinements that propel the competition to a new level.
In search of more success, the Austrailian Olympic Kayak team decided to turn 3D technology to develop a better 'fit-out' for kayakers in the canoe slalom. A fit-out means building custom parts from foam and wood for the seat of the craft. A good fit-out gives the competitors a crucial edge while they negotiate their way through 18-25 gates in the shortest time possible.
Past methods of fit-out have been labrious, mostly guesswork and with a lot of wasted material. By turning to 3D scanning with Creaform and 3D digital model creation with Geomagic software, the team has found a way to accurately create parts custom-fit to each athlete's unique body shape.
Each athlete was scanned in position using a Creaform 3D scanner. This accurately captures the body surface as millions of coordinate points (known as a point cloud), which are translated into 3D CAD models using Geomagic software. From this point, the 3D digital model can be precisely used to design and manufacture exact forms for the kayak - and for each athlete - to allow perfect control of the kayak from start to finish.