Can light, oxygen, and liquid resins make a comfortable midsole?
Adidas is getting serious about turning its 3D-printed concepts into consumer products. Last week, the sportswear giant revealed Futurecraft 4D, a sneaker designed partially with a manufacturing technology called Digital Light Synthesis, which creates 3D objects by mixing light and oxygen with programmable liquid resins. According to Carbon 3D, the Silicon Valley firm who developed it, this process is capable of making “durable, high-performance” 3D parts, unlike other conventional 3D printing methods. In this particular case, that was used to make and shape the shoe’s midsole, while the upper is made out of Adidas’ Primeknit material.
The tech will allow Adidas to manufacture 3D-printed shoes on a large scale, with the company planning to ship 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018. That commitment falls in line with what it has been doing with its Parley sneakers, which are made from recycled ocean plastic and are now being sold in stores. Adidas did release 3D-printed runners to the public recently, but only a few hundred pairs were made available — although they retailed for $333, you’ll now find them on eBay for upwards of $3,000.
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