One of the most progressive brands of sportswear and shoes, Adidas and Nike, began to use 3D printing technology for the production of sneakers, Fashionunited.ru reported.
They are currently using 3D printers to make prototypes of soles with challenging terrain, such as spiked football boots or running shoes. Previously, samples were made by casting molten plastic into a mold, but this took a long time.
3D printing has significantly accelerated the development process of new shoe models, which involves the creation of many samples. Nike said it was able to conduct 12 "test rounds" of samples in six months, and Adidas noted that the evaluation time for a new sample was reduced from 4-6 weeks to 1-2 days. Adidas also highlighted that it takes far fewer employees to 3D print the outsole sample: two people instead of twelve who were involved in the casting process.
Be that as it may, 3D printing so far is only suitable for creating prototypes, and not serial sneakers due to the low speed. Stratasys, a 3D printer used by Adidas and Nike, said it took about two hours to create one sole for the printer.