3D printing Tom Dumoulin

Full-scale 3D printing of a cyclist


For a research course in 2016, I teamed up with Ruben Baldewsing to 3D print a full scale mannequin for windtunnel tests. The mannequin was required by Wouter Terra, a PhD candidate of Aerospace engineering and bicycle team Giant Alpecin (now Sunweb cycling)

During the project we collaborated with Joris van Tubergen, a 3D print specialist who created a setup to 3D print columns of 20cm*20cm*250cm.

The project was divided in several stages:

3D scanning

The body scanning of the athlete was done by th3rd a 3D scanning company. The scan was created with the rig on the picture below. After the scan a workable model was created by the company and send to us to process into a 3d printable file.


Segmentation and printing

During the segmentation phase the body was cut into printable segments. A important part of the production was the fact that it needed to be able to switch suits. Therefor, the back of the mannequin could be opened to attach and de-attach the limbs from the body.

The printing  of the body parts was done in 3 weeks by Joris van Tubergen.


Assembly and surface finishing

After printing the boy was assemble with heat guns, glue and some metal pins. Since the wind tunnel tests were conducted with an laser, the shiny body needed to be matte as possible. With extra matte latex paint the body was dulled and ready for the wind tunnel tests.


Wind tunnel testing

For the wind tunnel tests, different time trial suits were tested by Giant Alpecin. The results of the tests were used for the time trial suit for the Tour de France 2016.
Wouter Terra researched air flow around cyclist with special measuring technique using 0.3mm helium filled soap bubbles.