Adidas has released a new model of sneakers with the sole printed on the Futurecraft 3D 4D printer, which is scheduled to go into mass production next year, Reuters reports. This step is part of the strategy of the German company, which seeks to respond more quickly to fashion changes and create more individual things.
Already now Adidas offers people to choose the color and model of shoes when ordering online, but 3D printing will allow you to go further - the company will be able to offer shoes, the sole of which will be designed taking into account the individual characteristics of the client's foot.
Rivals Nike, Under Armor, and New Balance have already experimented with 3D printing, but until now similar shoes have been produced in a limited edition. Since the use of traditional 3D printers in shoe manufacturing is more expensive, they work more slowly and often create a product that is inferior in quality to mass-produced products based on injection molds, which are used to produce hundreds of millions of pairs of shoes in Asian factories.
Meanwhile, Adidas says that a partnership with Carbon companies, a start-up from Silicon Valley, will overcome many difficulties and produce a sole that can compete with peers produced by injection molding in both quality and cost for launching mass production.
Carbon, funded by venture capital Sequoia Capital and funds created by General Electric and Google (Alphabeth), has pioneered the technology of printing using light-sensitive polymer resins.
Adidas expects to sell 5000 pairs of the new "Futurecraft 4D" this year, and increase production to 100 pairs a year next year, as Carbon is expected to be able to cut the printing time for one sole from the current one and a half hours by 000. 2018 minutes.
The price of shoes is still uncertain, it is assumed that it will gradually decline as technology develops.
Last year, Adidas sold several hundred pairs of sneakers with a sole printed on an 3D printer, at a price of 333 dollars per pair. But the sole was relatively stiff and heavy. At the same time, it took up to 10 hours to print it.