The latest technology has been applied to the manufacturing of trendy new shoe designs. 3D technology is taking with fashion world by storm. Popular brands are picking up on this innovation including Nike, Adidas and Reebok to name a few, to bring us yet more options to choose from. It appears that the sky is the limit with this new tool for generating unique styles of 3D printed sneakers. Here are some facts about the process and ten examples that we think are interesting.
This technology uses a 3D printer to build the shoe from materials which are added one layer at a time and fused together. Typically, the soles are made of plastics or rubber materials. The design for the shoe is downloaded into the printer and it does all of the work based on the information that it is given.
Benefits of 3D shoes
The biggest advantage of manufacturing 3D shoes is that they can be designed for a custom fit for each customer. These shoes can better accommodate people with unique foot shapes and contours for a perfect fit every time. This could be a tremendous benefit for people who have extra narrow or wide shaped feet.
Here are some of the top 3D sneakers around right now:
Reebok Liquid Speed 3D Printed Shoe
This shoe is intended to enhance athletic performance by offering a tighter fit where it is needed. The Liquid Speed is currently offered by Reebox and their partner Finishline.com, but there is a limited number available. This test run has only manufactured three hundred pairs so far. The company plans to open their own factory early in 2017 to begin manufacturing. There will be more Reebok 3D printed sneaker options available within the next couple of years.
3D technology is used in the Futurecraft to create a tailored fit, using recycled materials to create the most perfect fitting midsole for maximum comfort and support where needed. The ultimate goal is to establish a mechanism for customizing shoes while customer waits in the retail environment. All that would be needed is a copy of the client's footprint and the shoe that considers contours, pressure points, length and width could be generated within a few moments.
Although this is a futuristic concept, it is very much within the scope of near future reality. The German company has created five hundred pairs, but they are not for sale. There are rumors that we'll see this shoe presented from the Cherokee County Speed factory in Atlanta but we don't have a release date yet from Adidas, or a price estimate.
Feetz 3D printed shoes
The Feetz company is a relatively new startup that is slated to have their first 100 pairs available in November of 2017 in New York City when their stores are expected to open. A scan of the customers' feet are taken and the 3D printer creates a pair of shoes tailored for a perfect fit. A variety of styles will be available including sneakers and slip on casuals. Keep an eye out for the Sneakerbot II arriving soon. The prices range from $199.00 to $249.00.
Under Armour Architech shoe
Under Armour's Architech shoe is their new 3D printed sneaker that is slated to become available for sale on March 18, 2017. This shoe is limited to a production run of just ninety six pairs and the retail price is set for $300 a pair. This is just the beginning for Under Armour's use of 3D printing and it is expected that pending the success of this prototype, more will be manufactured in the future.
New Balance 3D Zante Generate
This is the New Balance company's first pair of 3D printed running shoes. They are scheduled to only release forty pairs in a limited edition run of this new and innovative sneaker. They were made available for purchase at the New Balance Experience retail store in Boston and at Newbalance.com with a cost of $400 per pair.
3D Printed Shoes by Recreus
Now you can otain the designs for creating your own 3D shoes from Recreus. All you need is a 3D printer and the materials to make these futuristic running shoes overnight while you sleep. There are a variety of colors and hues to choose from for making customized shoes at home. The cost of the materials is around $49.00 but you must have a 3D printer which is a little more expensive. You can download the design for free by visiting MakeBot's Thingiverse website and here you can also learn more about 3D printers and perhaps find a suitable model if you'd like to try making your own 3D printed sneakers from home.
Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat with 3D Printed Cleat Plate
Nike is joining the crowd in 3D sneaker production, Their first venture is the Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat which creates the cleat plate with 3D printing technology. The price range averages between $80 to $120. Nike is working on ideas for ways to efficiently use 3D technology to its full extent and we're expecting to hear announcements of new 3D printed sneaker versions coming out in the near future.
You won't be able to purchase this concept shoe yet, but Earl Stewart, a London based company is currently in the fundraising phase of manufacturing this new and innovative sneaker. The head of the company asserts that these shoes will incorporate 3D elements with the digital technology but that physical labor will also be used in the manufacture of their shoes.
Written by Garrett Parker
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