Cushioning tailored to your foot? Is this crazy, pie-in-the-sky talk? No, according to Adidas; as a matter of fact, the company says this is the future of footwear purchases.
Adidas recently unveiled its Futurecraft 3D shoe, a runner with a 3-D printed midsole. The footwear maker says the midsole can be tailored to fit the cushioning needs of the wearer. To accomplish this, clients will run on a special treadmill equipped with foot scanning technology which relays that information to a computer that will fabricate a design for the personalized midsole. This file is then sent to a 3-D printer and is brought to life.
Nike, last year, with the release of its Vapor Ultimate football cleat, has created a 3D printed shoe that also makes use of 3D knitting; in this digital process, a machine turns a computer file into a seamless article of clothing- in this case a shoe.
In this video below, Adidas provides a closer perspective on SLS, selective laser sintering, the process utilized to create the Futurecraft 3D. In short, this method uses a laser to fuse powdered materials into a solid object. The midsole is then enclosed within a sneaker.