Aiming for mass production in the coming year, Adidas unveiled new sneakers with 3-D printed soles in partnership with Silicon Valley start-up Carbon.
300 pairs of the Adidas-Carbon creation, called Futurecraft 4D, will first be released this month, later about another 5,000 will be rolled out and Adidas eventually hopes to produce more than 100,000 pairs by 2018 end.
While other sportswear brands have been discussing the potential of 3-D printed merchandise to increase the ability to have custom-made designs, so far, the techniques have lacked in quality and have been expensive.
According to Carbon, their method of “Digital Light Synthesis” will give Adidas the potential to make these shoes on a large scale. The process they use allows light to shape a liquid resin which then becomes solid upon heating.
A press release issued by Carbon on Friday said, “Digital Light Synthesis allows Adidas to precisely address the needs of each athlete in regards to movement, cushioning, stability, and comfort with one single component.”
The sole, according to Adidas, was zeroed upon after analysing ‘a library’ of data on running. While the Futurecraft 4D will be in just one design, the technology does pave the way for the German sportswear giant to tailor-make shoes for specific individuals.
Adidas began experimenting with 3-D printing in 2015 and had also released the limited edition $333 sneaker in 2016. Nike had also partnered with HP Inc to accelerate prototypes and eventually manufacture 3-D printed clothes and footwear.
So far, Adidas has not mentioned how much the Futurecraft 4D would cost.