Cycle shoe manufacturer Lore has begun the preorder of its customizable 3D printed cycle shoes, the LoreOne.
Claimed by Lore to be the first 3D printed hard-shelled carbon shoe, the LoreOne has been developed with more than a dozen patent-pending features designed to push the boundaries of both shoe design and manufacturing.
“This is an exciting moment for cycling as a sport, footwear, and manufacturing as a whole,” said Stephan Drake, CEO of Lore. “The LoreOne realizes the long-held promise of 3D printing for groundbreaking end-use products: it is incredibly complex in its organic, custom-built form, and transmits power very effectively due to its novel composite structure.
“The technology is transformative and almost alien. What matters most is biomechanical performance and feel on the bike. It’s been amazing to watch the extent to which top athletes have been blown away by how the LoreOne dramatically improves their pedaling experience.”
The LoreOne was created by Lore in partnership with Olympic track cyclist and elite cycling coach Colby Pearce. The clipless shoe is designed specifically for road riders, and mechanically couples with a mechanism on the pedal via a cleat on its underside.
The LoreOne is fully customized to an individual’s feet by means of the company’s patent-pending MORPHIC 3D Scan and Print technology. Using the Morphic app and a smartphone, cyclists can scan their feet and send them to Lore.
A robotic continuous carbon fiber 3D printing process turns these personalized scans into the main body of the shoe, the Custom Carbon AirFrame, which consists of dorsal (upper) and plantar (lower) sections that interlock around the cyclist’s foot when they put it on.
The Morphic 3D printing process enables a precision fit and biomechanical performance that were previously unobtainable using traditional footwear manufacturing techniques. 3D printing the shoe in carbon fiber maximizes its strength, performance and efficiency, while the exact fit and stiff carbon fiber keep the cyclist’s foot from moving around inside the shoe when pedaling.
In addition to the Custom Carbon AirFrame, the LoreOne consists of a custom-printed padded insole made of polyurethane and recycled polyester and a retention strap.
The finished, fully-customized cycling shoe is then shipped to the customer, and is compatible with their choice of Shimano, Look, or Speedplay cleats. Lore is now accepting preorders for an initial ‘Founder’s Kit’ edition of the LoreOne, priced at a hefty $1,900.
3D printing for improved cycling performance
In the world of professional cycling, speed is everything, with mere fractions of a second often separating success and failure. 3D printing is being increasingly deployed to harness speed efficiencies through improved aerodynamics and lightweighting components, among other things.
Most recently, a Calibry 3D scanner from Russian handheld 3D scanner developer Thor3D has been used by the Italian national cycling team to improve their aerodynamics in preparation for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics. The scanner was used to provide digital scans of the Italian athletes and their bikes in order to find the most aerodynamic riding position.
The benefits of 3D printing have also been leveraged by the French Cycling Federation to deploy customized handlebars to yield aerodynamic efficiency gains, which were on show on the team’s bikes during the Rio 2016 games.
Similarly, global engineering firm Renishaw sought to bolster the chances of the Great Britain Cycling Team ahead of Tokyo 2020 with the design of a new track bike. Partnering with Lotus Engineering and Hope Technology to design the bike with 3D printed parts in order to improve track performance with lightweight parts and an innovative design.
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Featured image shows the 3D printed LoreOne cycling shoe. Photo via Lore.