Shoes right now come in a variety of generic sizes in which for some who are lucky, fit like a glove. For others who aren’t so lucky, they might have to wear a size up or down and pad it with socks to get a good fit. This is where 3D printing comes in handy where shoes could be produced to fit the feet of the wearer precisely.
Now tailored shoes aren’t completely unheard of, but they aren’t too common but Adidas is hoping to change that with a new technique that they’re hoping will improve the mass creation of 3D printed sneakers. Dubbed the Futurecraft 4D shoe, these are a pair of sneakers with a 3D printed midsole that uses Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis. This is a process that according to Adidas, will allow them to operate on a “completely different manufacturing scale”.
In fact the company hopes that by the end of 2018, they will be able to achieve 100,000 pairs of these shoes using the 3D printing technique which works by blasting liquid with light. The initial run will see the company create 300 pairs this month where they’ll be available for friends and family.
They are expected to release another 5,000 units available in retail during the fall/winter, before scaling up and reaching that 100,000 mark. This isn’t the first time that Adidas has attempted to 3D print shoes, although admittedly this could be the first time their 3D printed shoes reach a wider audience. There is no word on pricing just yet, although based on the company’s previous releases, it won’t exactly come cheap.