According to 3D Printing Industry, Adidas has announced the American launch of their Speedfactory concept later this year.
The shoe manufacturer explains Speedfactories are “industrial factories where 3D printing and robots manufacturer sneakers on-demand.” These Speedfactories (one in Ansbach, Germany and one in Atlanta, Georgia – in the United States) will allow Adidas’ manufacturing to “become localized, eliminating costs associated with logistics and supply chains.
“Large-scale production at the German Speedfactory…is set for mid-2017, with Adidas expecting to create 500,000 shoes a year in the future.” As for Adidas’ Speedfactory in Atlanta, it will open in late 2017.
Adidas released the 3D runner in December of 2016. “It was the first 3D printed [sneaker] Adidas sold,” before this 3D printing was strictly limited to the prototyping portion of the manufacturing process, “the product was used by Adidas to test the market and the technology. Retailing at $333 on release, Adidas’ 3D runner is currently selling on eBay [for more than] $3,000!” This experiment was evidently a roaring success, so “Adidas will [now] look to increase availability through mass production.” This is where the company’s brand new Speedfactory announcements come in.
“Currently the time-scale of developing a new sneaker product can span over a year and Adidas want to reduce this time dramatically. Using 3D printing as both a prototyping tool and manufacturing technique will enable that. 3D printing will also allow Adidas to shorten their supply chain and in the future, they plan to expand this by offering bespoke designs.”
As Adidas’ Vice President of Technology Innovation Gerd Manz envisions, “the set-up of the first Speedfactory has kicked off in Ansbach, Germany, to propel a global network of automated production, which brings cutting-edge technology to cities around the world. These first…pairs will help us set the scene for large-scale commercial production so each consumer can get what they want [locally], when they want it, faster than ever.”
Image and Quotes Courtesy of 3D Printing Industry and Adidas