3D Printing

3D-printed Adidas running shoe should fit like a glove

The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide individualised support and cushioning for the wearer's feet
The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide individualised support and cushioning for the wearer's feet
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The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide individualised support and cushioning for the wearer's feet
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The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide individualised support and cushioning for the wearer's feet
The Futurecraft 3D is intended to match the contours and pressure points of each individual foot
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The Futurecraft 3D is intended to match the contours and pressure points of each individual foot
The Futurecraft 3D would help to improve running performance
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The Futurecraft 3D would help to improve running performance
The Futurecraft 3D is described as a "flexible, fully breathable carbon-copy of the athlete’s own footprint"
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The Futurecraft 3D is described as a "flexible, fully breathable carbon-copy of the athlete’s own footprint"
The Futurecraft 3D midsole was developed in partnership with 3D printing specialist Materialise
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The Futurecraft 3D midsole was developed in partnership with 3D printing specialist Materialise
The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide the cushioning needs of the wearer, matching contours and pressure points of each individual foot
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The Futurecraft 3D is designed to provide the cushioning needs of the wearer, matching contours and pressure points of each individual foot
The Futurecraft 3D would be molded to the shape of the wearer's foot
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The Futurecraft 3D would be molded to the shape of the wearer's foot
The Futurecraft 3D could be store-bought by customers
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The Futurecraft 3D could be store-bought by customers
Customers would be fitted for the Futurecraft 3D by spending a short time running on a treadmill
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Customers would be fitted for the Futurecraft 3D by spending a short time running on a treadmill
Adidas says that, linked with existing data sourcing and footscan technologies, the Futurecraft 3D opens unique opportunities for immediate in-store fittings
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Adidas says that, linked with existing data sourcing and footscan technologies, the Futurecraft 3D opens unique opportunities for immediate in-store fittings
The Futurecraft 3D is the first item in Adidas' Futurecraft initiative
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The Futurecraft 3D is the first item in Adidas' Futurecraft initiative
The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special equipment
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The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special equipment
The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special material
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The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special material
Source material dust is shaken from a Futurecraft 3D prototype
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Source material dust is shaken from a Futurecraft 3D prototype
Adidas says more innovative partnerships, like the Futurecraft 3D, will be announced over the next six months
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Adidas says more innovative partnerships, like the Futurecraft 3D, will be announced over the next six months

Custom-made sports footwear is typically the preserve of professional athletes, but perhaps not for much longer. Adidas has unveiled a 3D-printed running shoe midsole concept that it hopes to make publicly available. Futurecraft 3D would be molded to the wearer's foot shape, for improved performance.

Some companies, such as Sols, are already offering custom-made 3D-printed insoles, aimed at helping to improve comfort for the wearer. For a firm on the scale of Adidas to begin offering such a service, though, would be major milestone in the popularization of the technology.

The Futurecraft 3D midsole was developed in partnership with 3D printing specialist Materialise. It is designed to provide the cushioning needs of the wearer, matching contours and pressure points of each individual foot. Adidas describes it as a "flexible, fully breathable carbon-copy of the athlete’s own footprint."

Gizmag has requested some additional info from Adidas on the specific materials and processes used to create the Futurecraft 3D, but has yet to receive a response. The sportswear manufacturer does say in a press release, however, that its ultimate aim for the technology is for customers to be able to walk into a store, spend a short time running on a treadmill, then leave the store with a 3D-printed running shoe.

The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special material
The Futurecraft 3D would be 3D-printed using special material

The Futurecraft 3D midsole was designed as part of Adidas's Futurecraft initiative, which the firm says is aimed at innovating across all areas of production through open source collaboration and craftsmanship. It says more innovative partnerships of this ilk will be announced over the next six months.

The video below provides an introduction to the Futurecraft 3D prototype.

Update October 9: Adidas tells Gizmag that the midsoles are printed from a material called Modified Desmopan TPU, which is provided by Bayer. The raw material is ground and supplied to Materialise for 3D printing. Once the mid sole is printed, it is assembled with the upper portion of the shoe at the Adidas production center in Scheinfeld, Germany.

Source: Adidas

5 comments
Bob Flint
Nice as long as it's clean indoor track, but will fill with dirt outside, sort of "Tweel meets heel"...
byrneheart
Some resistance and size measuring straps in the appropriate places during the test run would make shoe upper customisation possible too.
2_OK
This technologi is promissing it is great and it is way of the future... All tumbs up...
Oun Kwon
Not just sneakers but all footwear - get the 3 D data of feet and churn out perfect fitting shoes. I never had a pleasant experience of any shoes to fit on my feet. All I had to do has been putting up with whatever my feet are in up the wazoo.
the.other.will
It's a midsole, BF, not the whole shoe. Will the upper always fit if the midsole does?