The Olympic Games happen every 2 years and it is hard not to get involved. Let’s list and review some of the developed and emerging 3D technologies and see if one of the greatest events on Earth can give 3D designers ideas and inspiration for future projects.
This Guide Covers
- 3D Printed Objects and Equipment
- Multi-Camera Relay Systems
- AR, VR, and 360 Technologies
- Olympic Themed 3D Printing Competitions
- 3D Printable Models – File Repositories
3D Printed Objects and Equipment in the Olympics
– Podiums. In Tokyo 2020 all 98 podiums were printed using the FDM 3D printers. You can see in the video below how an artist Asaon Tokolo came up with the design. Also, we can see how they overcame the notorious warping issue. The helper discs and the brim/skirt extensions were used in order to keep the sharp corners well attached to the print bed.
As these podiums were made from 24.5 tons of recycled plastics, this green initiative was highly praised. And understandably, some of these podiums will be recycled further if not used again.
– Pistol grip. The shooting equipment’s 3D printed grips were customized for the athletes’ hands. Customized handles and grips are not that novice in the 3D printing world. Usually, this involves mold creation, then 3D scanning of the mold, and 3D printing the final model in the desired material.
More 3D printed sport objects and equipment will be added in due course.
Multi-Camera Relay System Replays – Unfinished 3D Scan
While glued to TV watching Tokyo 2020, we could not help admiring these video tricks. In judo, gymnastics, and some other sports, the most important moments, such as the winning throws’ or super complicated jumps’ videos, were replayed using the footage from the multi-camera relay systems. Several cameras take the footage from different angles, and then the software turns the feed into a “3D scan preview-like” feature.
Of course, we know that such footage is not enough for a full 3D scan. Nevertheless, it is tempting to contemplate such technologies. Think of the possibility to create 3D scans and 3D printable figurines of the favorite athletes.
We guess that the movie and game creators benefit from such captured moments anyway. The artists involved can have a better view and understanding of the positions and dimensions.
AR, VR and 360 Technologies
Tokyo 2020 was expected to be the AR/VR technology packed Olympic games. Visitors of such sports as swimming or climbing, for example, could have the AR/VR experience by using special headsets. Due to the pandemic, the venues were out of reach for the visitors, and these headsets were left unused.
Looking at the positive, the new reality is fuelling the technological advancement which will enhance any event experience in the future.
Here is a 360 video from Rio 2016 featuring athletics.
You can rotate the camera while the video is playing.
Olympic Themed 3D Printing Competitions
Creality, a 3D printer manufacturer, started Tokyo 2020 and the Olympics-themed competition on Facebook. The participants were asked to publish photos of their prints. If you visit the page, you can look at the Olympics-related 3D prints.
Here is the image of Tokyo 2020 Olympic rings and mascot Miraitowa turned into a 3D printed lithophane by Clint Sturm.
Another entry is by @3DPrintBunny who gave us permission to use the image as the blog’s thumbnail. You can find the files of the Olympic Rings ornament here. Using a simple trick, such as changing the color of the filament in the middle of the print, 3DPrintBunny featured rings in the right colors.
How to Find Olympics Themed 3D Printable Models
File repositories offer ever-expanding themed collections. And of course, there are a lot of Olympics-related models, from rings and torches to mascots. As the models may be scattered throughout such repositories, we would recommend looking for such 3D models with the help of the specialised search engines like Yeggi or STLFinder, for example. Also, as the “Olympics” is a general keyword, we would recommend searching using such combinations as Pyongyang 2018, Tokyo 2020, Beijing 2022 or Paris 2024.
The greatest show on Earth, the Olympics, can offer a lot of inspiration and innovation even for those who are not so much into sports. The worldwide events attract by their technological advancements, including AR/VR and other 3D technologies.