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WATCH: 3D printed shoes is the next step for Adidas

/ 05:14 PM April 09, 2017
Adidas Futurecraft 4D

Image: Adidas

When you hear about 3D printing, it’s often something related to prototyping, mechanical parts and even art. Time to add another to the list because Adidas is looking to use 3D printing technology to make shoes.

The company has partnered with the Silicon Valley company Carbon for an ambitious project that involves 3D printing a new kind of shoe sole, according to Reuters.

However, instead of using traditional 3D printing technology, the sole will be printed using a process called Continuous Liquid Interface Production. Essentially, the process pulls out a sole design from a vat of liquid polymer resin. This is then cured to its desired shape through ultraviolet light.

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In reference, traditional 3D printing technology assemble designs by layering a chosen raw material such as nylon or ABS plastic.

Called the “Futurecraft 4D” shoe, Adidas is aiming to produce soles that carry the benefits of injection mould ones, yet are cheap and can be quickly made for mass production.

“This is a milestone not only for us as a company but also for the industry,” said Gerd Manz, Adidas head of technology innovation.

Adidas is planning to sell only 5,000 pairs of the Futurecraf 4D shoes this year. Production will then be ramped up to 100,000 by next year once Carbon cuts down printing time for a sole from one hour to twenty minutes.

If you’re planning to get a pair of these futuristic shoes, prepare your wallet for a hefty premium. Adidas has yet to release an actual price yet but it’s safe to say that it won’t be cheap. On the bright side, the company says that as the technology develops, the price will go down with it. Alfred Bayle/JB

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TAGS: Adidas, Carbon, Continuous Liquid Interface Production, Futurecraft 4D
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