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Adidas 3-D Printed Sneakers to Eventually Allow Foot Customization

Image: Adidas 3-D Printed Sneakers to Eventually Allow Foot Customization

The new Adidas Futurecraft shoe is displayed in New York City, New York, U.S. April 6, 2017. (Joe Penney/Reuters)

By    |   Friday, 07 Apr 2017 04:35 PM

Adidas announced its new Futurecraft 4D sneaker Friday, revealing 100,000 pairs of the 3-D printed shoes will be sold next year in a partnership with Silicon Valley startup Carbon.

Adidas plans to produce 5,000 pairs this year and ramp up to 100,000 by the end of 2018.

The sneakers are made by using light and oxygen to manipulate resins into the right shape and texture in a process called Digital Light Synthesis. Although customization is not part of the process right now, the versatility of 3-D printing is expected to enable customers to eventually walk into a store and walk out with a pair of shoes customized to their specific foot shape and gait, according to Quartz.

The process of 3-D printing shoes is also expected to lead to more and better varieties of shoes, since expensive metal molds won’t need to be made each time manufacturers want to try out a different variety of shoe, Quartz said.

The Futurecraft sneakers will initially come at a premium price, but prices are expected to come down over time as 3-D printing becomes more affordable and the process becomes more streamlined, Quartz reported.

“What you can do is introduce more types of products without a cost penalty,” 3-D consultancy head Terry Wohlers of Wohlers Associates said, Reuters reported. “With this technology, you can produce one or a few inexpensively.”

To help further the process, Adidas will be opening mostly robot-operated factories in Germany and the United States, Reuters said.

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Adidas announced its new Futurecraft 4D sneaker Friday, revealing 100,000 pairs of the 3-D printed shoes will be sold next year in a partnership with Silicon Valley startup Carbon.
adidas, 3-d, printed, sneakers
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2017-35-07
Friday, 07 Apr 2017 04:35 PM
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