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Additive Manufacturing of a 3D Printed Continuous Carbon Fiber Composite Cycling Shoe


Title: Additive Manufacturing of a 3D Printed Continuous Carbon Fiber Composite Cycling Shoe

Authors: Sana Elyas, Anil Kircaliali, Tino Muziotti, Roudy Wehbe, Cole Neilsen, Amolak Badesha

DOI: 10.33599/nasampe/c.23.0071

Abstract: Cycling shoe design has been stagnant for decades - pointed toe boxes, rocker toe spring design, arch support, and heel lift are the design features employed in sports shoes. This approach results in constricted athleticism that leads to poor long-term comfort and foot health. Conventional sports shoes support feet from the bottom up thus weakening the body's kinetic chain. On the other hand, cycling shoes have stiffer soles than most sport shoes enabling them to transfer power from the riders’ legs to the bicycle and saving them from fatigue. In this paper a novel approach in the design and manufacturing of a cycling shoe is discussed, utilizing a 3D printed custom fit thermoplastic monocoque shell reinforced with a printed continuous carbon fiber thermoplastic composite to reach radically efficient power delivery. The exoskeleton shell structure is generated from a 3D scan of the athlete’s foot featuring a natural toe box that allows the foot to athletically spread under load, no artificial arch support, and an anatomical flat heel. The innovative design, combined with biomechanics and optimized power transfer are aimed to improve comfort and natural biomechanical freedom within the shoe. The custom monocoque shell is subsequently reinforced with continuous carbon fiber using the Orbital S machine, configured with two 6-axis 3D printing robots. The final product is composed of two subcomponents; a dorsal and a plantar shell that efficiently capture lateral and rotational forces produced by the foot through normal biomechanical movement. Subsequent performance tests at a one minute maximal effort prior to results showed an increase between 14.9-20.1% in peak watts, 7.9-8.9% in total average watts, 4.2-7.2% in 15-60 sec average watts, and 17.7-23.4% in 10 sec watts (acceleration) compared to a conventional cycling shoe (Lake Road and Shimano Road).

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Conference: CAMX 2023

Publication Date: 2023/10/30

SKU: TP23-0000000071

Pages: 15

Price: $30.00

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