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Tech: 3D printer makes horseshoes. And they're purple!

Halfway across the hinterlands at an important competition and your horse loses his custom-made, I'll-only-stay-sound-with-this-one shoe? Might not be a problem in the future.

Australian scientists have churned out a customized set of purple titanium shoes for a Melbourne race horse using a 3D printer.

According to abc.net.au, scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization used a 3D scanner to scan the hooves of an apparently very brave and technologically savvy horse, nicknamed Titanium Prints. Then, using 3D modeling software, they “printed” out the shoes in layers.

“Prints” seems somewhat discouraged by the color chosen for his new kicks.

“It builds pieces up layer by layer, rather than cutting them from a block,” scientist John Barnes said. He gave no indication that the scientists struggled with the titanium version of a paper jam in the 3D printer.

Super-lightweight titanium was chosen to help the horse go faster. “These titanium shoes could take up to half of the weight off a traditional aluminium shoe, which means a horse could travel at new speeds,” John Moloney, the horse's trainer, told the news service.

But for non-racers, the reduced wait may be more exciting than the reduced weight. One day, might we simply hit “print” when Trigger mangles his custom shoe getting into the trailer on the way to a horse show in the wee hours?

Could farriers around the world finally get a true day off?

Not just yet.

Titanium Prints' shoes took 24 hours to print.

And, they cost $600.

There was no word as to whether shoes in a more traditional color would be cheaper.

Today, custom horseshoes. Tomorrow, 3D printed custom saddles and boots!

Today, custom horseshoes. Tomorrow, 3D printed custom saddles and boots!

Go Riding.

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  1. Emily says:

    i feel like we’re well on our way to being able to materialize things out of thin air!