adidas’ “Futurecraft 4D” make 3D printing look old
As fall season is in full action and 2017 is slowly but surely coming to an end, we thought it was time to look back at one of the most exciting sneaker releases of the past year: the adidas Futurecraft 4D.
The trainers’ latticed plastic midsoles are formed using an additive-manufacturing system, which is said to overcome the shortcomings of conventional 3D printing.
The soles of the Futurecraft 4Ds are shaped by a manufacturing technology called Digital Light Synthesis, developed by Silicon Valley based tech firm Carbon. The technique uses light and oxygen to shape a special liquid resin. The material is then set with heat. Carbon claims the process is capable of making “durable, high-performance” 3D parts as opposed to conventional 3D printing methods. It further believes the process is faster, provides better surface quality and allows for more colour options.
Especially taking into account high performance athletes the sportswear giant explained that: “unlike any traditional manufacturing technology, 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 Futurecraft series started back in late 2015, when a 3D printed midsole was designed to tailor-fit to an individual’s foot. Since then, the sneakers have been reworked and further developed in multiple ways. For example, the German sports manufacturer partnered up with Parley for the Oceans in designing trainers made from recycled ocean plastic.
The Futurecraft 4D was released in April of this year, but only available to a lucky few. However, adidas mentioned that the shoe would drop this fall in a larger number of units – a speculated 5.000 pairs. Using adidas’ own claim: it will change everything.