Scaled Marks London Marathon with 3D Printing Success

Scaled Marks London Marathon with 3D Printing Success

Scaled specialises in large-scale 3D printing, and its most recent project was a marathon in more ways than one! Consisting of over 2000 parts and 1,870 hours of printing, Scaled provided all of the fifty-one route markers for the 2022 London Marathon, additively manufactured from 100% waste material.

Scaled Ltd, based in Swindon, is a company of engineers built with one goal in mind: To empower UK manufacturers with large-scale 3D printing. Previously known for ‘Project Chameleon‘ Europe’s first fully 3D printed electric vehicle, the Scaled team more recently won the contract to supply all of the fifty-one 3.5m tall route markers posted along the 26-mile (42km) route of the London Maraton 2022.

The project was a marathon in itself, consisting of the 3D printing of over 2,000 individual components, lasting 1,870 hours of printing (78 days at 24h/day) and with 10,400 holes to be precision drilled. Over 14 tonnes of recycled plastic waste was used to create the new markers, much of which came from waste plastic material collected from previous London Marathons.

The route markers themselves were designed by a team of architecture students who were keen to explore a more sustainable route to manufacture. Previous route markers were simple scaffold structures with signage attached, but the student team wanted to replace all markers with ones created entirely from recycled plastic.

Scaled Co-Founder David Speight commented about the project’s origins:

“The student was part of a team that had entered a competition being run by the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust (now known as Blueprint For All) to redesign all the marathon mile markers.

“We took the student team’s concept to see if it could be done, and it could. Over time, the concept evolved, and once our student partners were announced as the winning team, we bid to replace all of the London Marathon mile markers with the new design using entirely recycled plastic.

“The journey has been interesting, we’ve learned so much along the way, and we’re so proud of how well the markers have turned out – showcasing our engineering skills and the design of the winning students, especially Chantal Banker and Davina Lyn.”

“What really swung the deal was that the plastic in the markers would be 100% from waste sources, including material recovered from beach cleans organised by Keep Britain Tidy and signage from previous London Marathon events. And, when the markers reach the end of their useful life, they can be recycled again into, well, any new structure you care to imagine.”

Each mile marker is made from a combination of 3D printed parts and recycled boards constructed into a distinctive hexagonal pattern. The student team took inspiration from the way in which runners of all abilities and demographics come together for the event in a spirit of unity and togetherness – like bees gathering around the hive. Each mile marker stands over 3.5m high with prominent sponsor branding and some feature portraits of famous marathon runners. Many of the markers will have clocks on them so runners can keep abreast of their running times.

Working alongside the student designers and the London Marathon Events team, the engineers at Scaled worked hard to overcome some of the unique engineering obstacles that presented themselves. The team delivered the project on time and were delighted with the results, with the markers looking fantastic in the London sunshine on Sunday morning.

Scaled provides its customer with truly large format 3D printing solutions. If you’d like to investigate large-scale additive manufacturing for your project, including the use of recycled or reclaimed materials, contact the Scaled team directly using the details below.

01793 870181

Related Posts

Subscribe to our newsletter