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Adidas Launches Mass Produced 3D Printed Shoe

Tech Crunch reports on yet another game-changer in the footwear industry.  For the first time, Adidas has announced the launch of a mass-produced 3D printed shoe.

The Futurecraft 4D shoe “is a huge improvement on [Adidas’s] last 3D printed runners, which were more of a concept than an actual product.  The new version is better suited for mass production – Adidas plans on selling 5,000 pairs this…fall, which will scale up to more than 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018.  While the company hasn’t announced the price, expect the first run to still be priced as a limited-edition shoe.”

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of Adidas’s announcement is its choice of partner, Carbon 3D.  We here at Replicator World have extensively covered Carbon 3D, which is a “Silicon Valley-based 3D printing company…[which has] raised over $200M from Sequoia Capital, GV, Yuri Milner and others.  [Carbon 3D] is focused on making 3D printing a viable manufacturing method for large-scale production across industries.”

“Using a method called Digital Light Synthesis, [Carbon 3D] is able to print objects up to 10 times faster than other 3D printers.  The difference is that instead of printing an object layer by layer from the top down like traditional additive 3D printers do, Carbon’s process is continuous and starts from the bottom.”

Carbon 3D’s 3D printers “use digital light below the printing surface to turn the liquid resin into a solid object.  The object, in this case the shoe’s midsoles, are pulled up and literally formed from the top down…after the midsole is printed it’s attached to the top of the shoe, which is made from fabric using traditional manufacturing methods.”

Not only are Futurecraft 4Ds faster to manufacture, they also provide Adidas with the ability to become more flexible, unlocking “performance-enhancing design modifications that would have been impossible with other materials like foam.”

“While the first step is just to get to mass-production, Adidas eventually sees a future where everyone will be able to have their own 3D printed shoe, with the midsole totally customized to their individual needs.”

Image Courtesy of Tech Crunch, Adidas, and Carbon 3D

Quotes Courtesy of Tech Crunch

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