3D-Printed Shoes For The Masses Are Here

In another move created to win over the world's sports performance design geeks, Adidas just unveiled the Futurecraft 4D, a high-end running shoe made from a new type of 3D printing. Dubbed the Futurecraft 4D shoe, these are a pair of sneakers with a 3D printed midsole that uses Carbon's Digital Light Synthesis.

Adidas used its extensive library of running data to shape functional zones into a midsole design crafted through Digital Light Synthesis, explains Carbon.

The company revealed a new sneaker, the Futurecraft 4D, created with a 3D-printing process developed by the Silicon Valley startup Carbon. The mid-sole of the shoe is created using a process known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production, in which the design is essentially pulled out of a Value-Added Tax of liquid polymer resin, and fixed into its desired shape using ultraviolet light. The process will allow for more personalized shoes, shaped to an individual's weight and gait.

Can a 3D-printed vehicle change the auto industry? And since they're 3D printed all it would take is a slight tweak of a design file to make a pair more springy or stable.

Last year's 3D-printed Adidas sneaker arrived in very limited numbers.

Adidas said it analyzed a library of running data to come up with the ideal design for the sole.




Late previous year Adidas sold a few hundred pairs of running shoes with soles made by regular 3D printing for $333, but they were relatively rigid and heavy and took 10 hours to print.

The small-batch technology is said to lend itself to higher levels of personalization, faster production and better quality. The company plans to sell 5,000 of the Futurecraft 4D this fall, and an additional 10,000 next year.

The latest move from Adidas sees it embracing new technology for its footwear.

Adidas did not specify how much each pair will cost, but said they would be marketed at a "premium price".

The Futurecraft 4D shoe, which features a 3D-printed midsole made using Carbon technology. By 3D printing both the design and the final product, Adidas can skip tooling on both ends. Carbon's AM process may be one of the few that is capable of fabricating such end parts due to the speed at which it prints and the physical properties of the objects it produces.

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