Adidas is getting in the 3D-printing game and we want them to win.
The company recently released their latest 3D-printed shoe, the Futurecraft 4D. This sneaker is better than their last concept, 3D-printed runners. Adidas plans to sell 5,000 pairs of the Futurecraft 4D this year and hopes that number will balloon to 100,000 pairs by the end of 2018.
The sneaker giant created the shoes along with 3D-printing company Carbon. They reportedly use a method called Digital Light Synthesis to print objects nearly 10 times faster than the competition. However, instead of printing one layer at a time with a top-down approach, Carbon starts from the bottom. They utilize liquid resin material, which also provides more flexibility than other 3D-printers. Their machines also use digital light below the printing surface to transform the liquid resin into something solid, in this case, a sneaker.
The object being printed doesn’t stick to the printing surface because they never touch. The midsole is printed and connected to the top of the shoe, which is formed traditionally with fabric. And according to TechCrunch, 3D-printing also means the sneaker maker can take advantage of performance-enhancing design features that other materials don’t allow for. Different areas of the shoe can be made more firm, or the opposite, with ease.
TechCrunch says the shoes are “springy” yet firm and that Adidas envisions a period where everyone will be able to print their own unique sneaker, that is totally customizable. Amen.
Adidas hasn’t released the price of the new sneaker, but we expect they’ll be around the same price as the first 3D runners, which sold for $333.
Carbon took to Twitter to announce the partnership with Adidas. Take a look at this video:
— Carbon (@Carbon) April 10, 2017