Yup. Adidas has unveiled its latest 3-D printed shoes. The Futurecraft 4D are the latest cool product to come out of Adidas’s coffers and unlike their predecessors, these shoes are much more than being a mere concept and are as real as any pair of sneakers out there.
This particular version of shoes have been designed with an eye towards ensuring that they are suited for mass production using 3-D printing. The company is planning upon offloading as many as 5,000 pairs of sneakers this very fall. It could then increase the number of shoes it prints and sells to more than 100,000 pairs by the end of next year.
A lot of difference this time around has been made b the introduction of Carbon as a partner to Adidas. A Silicon Valley startup, Carbon is attempting to make 3-D manufacturing a viable method of mass production. Despite all the progress we have made in the field, 3-D printing remains largely a method of prototyping due to the immense complexity and the attention to detail involved. However, Carbon is attempting to change all that and has already raised over $200M from heavyweight backers like Sequoia Capital, GV, Yuri Milner etc.
The main disruption that Carbon has brought to the table lies in a new method called the Digital Light Synthesis. What happens here is that the company is able to print objects up to 10 times faster than what you would expect from other 3D printers.
Other 3-d printers start from the top and print the object layer by layer. However, Carbon has hit upon a process that allows it to print the object in question continuously and while starting from the bottom.
Because the method is much faster, companies can use it to actually produce highly complicated objects faster. And unless you watch how a shoe gets built from scratch, you won’t believe how complex that simple process that could be. Thanks to its collaboration with Carbon though, Adidas is able to build things at speed and go for mass production. If the company has its way, eventually everyone will have 3-D printed shoes that feel good and are highly detailed and customized thanks to 3-D printing technology.
Check out the video below to know more: