3D Printing and the Shoe making factories
Have you ever imagined your new shoes being specially customised for you and being produced
there and then, in front of you when you go to shop? Adidas has announced that it plans to 3D print
100,000 shoe soles of its Futurecraft 4 shoe by 2018. Adidas’ strategy is to mass produce goods using
3D printing technology and automation. Several shoe companies, including Nike and United Nude
are now using 3D printing technology to give customers custom made shoes- in the store, on the
3D printed shoes have become a rage for consumers since they are tailored for each person’s unique
feet. 3D printing solves the sizing problems in footwear as people often do not have identical left
and right feet. Moreover, the current shoe-sizing system is only takes into account the length of a
person’s foot. Finding shoes for wide or thick feet is difficult which is solved by 3D printing.
Customers can easily get personalized shoes tailored for them through 3D printing which leads to
high customer-engagement with the product. The technology is also being used for therapeutic
application that alleviate a patient’s foot pain and improve comfort. Besides this, Nike has
introduced a new technology which combines 3D knitting and 3D shoe printing producing an athletic
shoe that gives both lightweight speed and comfort helping athletes in their performance.
It might soon be possible that 3D printed footwear is available at a mass scale rather than just
limited edition. To create a new version of Futurecraft 4D better suited for mass production, Adidas
has teamed up with Carbon, a Silicon-Valley based 3D printing company which is focussed on making
3D printing a viable manufacturing method for large-scale production across industries. Adidas is
envisaging a world where everybody will have their own 3D printed shoes. 3D printing shoes not
only boast of strong prints but are also creatively viable and environmental friendly. These are a few
of the reasons that companies like Nike and Adidas want to leverage the 3D printing technology and
change the way footwear is worn today.
3D printed shoes are certainly a step in the right direction as they are advancing quickly on a global
level and offering something that is different than the rest- On-demand, anytime, anywhere!