In the world of sneaker technology, 3D printing has arrived, had its brief moment in the limelight, and is now already retired as old news.
Always at the forefront of explorative new production methods, in the creation of their futurecraft 4D sneaker, adidas is now pioneering the use of digital light synthesis — a process which involves shaping programmable resin midsoles with light and oxygen. The sports technology giant has partnered with silicon valley-based tech company CARBON, who work to revolutionize product creation through molecular science. Together, the duo are bringing sports manufacturing into a new dimension, that will eventually allow the duo to mould each resin sole perfectly tailored to the needs of every individual wearer.
In recent years, adidas have positioned themselves at the forefront of this movement, that sees clothing manufacturers moves away from mass production, and towards using new technologies to creating data-driven garmets tailored to each individual wearer. The brand’s ‘knit for you’ pop-up shop in berlin saw the creation of custom knitted sweaters based on a body scan of each buyer, with a tailored pattern sent to in-store knitting machines allowing the garment to be printed in real time. In the future, digital light synthesis will allow the same to be done with sneakers, providing consumers with bespoke performance products tailored to their individual physiological data.
Dr.joseph desimone, CARBON co-founder and CEO explains that ‘Despite the influence of technology to improve almost every other aspect of our lives, for years the manufacturing process has followed the same four steps that make up the product development cycle – design, prototype, tool, produce. CARBON has changed that; we’ve broken the cycle and are making it possible to go directly from design to production.’
Initially, 300 pairs of the Futurecraft 4D will be released in April, however, for friends and family only. You’ll have your shot at purchasing this FW17 when more than 5,000 pairs will hit retail. Additional widespread releases will follow.