Adidas has raced its way to the top by creating the first mass produced running shoe to have 3D printed midsoles in the world. They call it Futurecraft 4D, which will have more than 100,000 pairs available on the market by the end of 2018. Partnered with Carbon, Inc., a 3D printing company located in Silicon Valley, CA, makes the soles of the shoe using continuous digital light projection (cDLP). This is a process that uses both light and oxygen.
The way it works is that the light “projects through an oxygen permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin. When a sequence of UV images are projected, the part solidifies and the build platform rises. Oxygen inhibits the photochemical reaction so that there are always a thin, liquid interface of uncured resin between the window and the printing part” (Sawyer, 2017).
This form of technology makes it so that the sole is not only flexible and durable, but also light, airy, and adds a spring to one’s step which is perfect for running. Unlike traditional manufacturing, printing the midsole with Carbon’s technology reduces time and money on production while producing more shoes at a faster pace. It only takes 20 minutes to 3D print while traditional manufacturing takes an hour and a half. Making sure that the quality of the sole was up to par, Adidas provided Carbon with 17 years of running data to generate a high-performance material that addresses the needs of an athlete in regards to movement, cushioning, stability, and comfort into one component (2017).
Futurecraft 4D is just as aesthetically pleasing as it is comfortable. Since more is being produced, race in line to get these shoes by the end of 2018. Perhaps it’ll help you to run your way into the future.
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Adidas Unveils Industry’s First Application of Digital Light Synthesis with Futurecraft 4D. (2017, April 7). Retrieved September 13, 2017, from https://www.adidas-group.com/en/media/news-archive/press-releases/2017/adidas-unveils-industrys-first-application-digital-light-synthes/
Sawyer, J. (2017, June 16). What Is Digital Light Synthesis and Why Is Adidas using it? Retrieved September 12, 2017, from http://www.highsnobiety.com/2017/04/07/adidas-digital-light-synthesis/