Adidas has made their intentions evident for some time, previewing evolutionary iterations of 3D printed midsoles as the foundation of next generation athletic footwear. But until now their plans have been hampered by the foe of any innovation: scale. Thanks to a technical and manufacturing process called Digital Light Synthesis, the adidas Futurecraft 4D is to become the harbinger of 3D printed midsole sneakers for the masses.
Adidas worked with Silicon Valley contiguous 3D printing technology specialists, Carbon, to utilize a manufacturing that forgoes traditional prototyping and moulding for a 3D printing process using digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid polymer resin to generate high performance, durable polymeric products quickly – ideal for midsole manufacturing on a scale previously unrealizable. The manufacturing process is quite mesmerizing.
The resulting latticed structure midsole structure is even more pliable and flexible than previous Futurecraft models, designed to accommodate the needs of athletic demands – professional or otherwise – in the categories of cushioning, stability, flexibility, and comfort.
Thanks to the Silicon Valley-based tech company’s innovative manufacturing process, adidas now predicts they’ll be able to deliver more than 100,000 pairs of their newly unveiled Adidas Futurecraft 4D shoes by the end of 2018. An initial run for friends/family will be limited to a highly coveted 300 preview pairs this month, followed by 5,000 pairs for retail for fall/winter.
With Digital Light Synthesis, we venture beyond limitations of the past, unlocking a new era in design and manufacturing. One driven by athlete data and agile manufacturing processes. By charting a new course for our industry, we can unleash our creativity- transforming not just what we make, but how we make it. – Eric Liedtke / adidas Group Executive Board Member Responsible For Global Brands
We look forward to getting a closer look to compare the look, feel, and performance of the Futurecraft 4D in comparison to previous Futurecraft models we’ve demoed, noting these midsoles appear wider, more pliant/cushioned, and subjectively more beautifully realized aesthetically.