Futurecraft 4D, the sneaker made with a 3D printer

The company, in collaboration with Silicon Valley startup Carbon, will release its Futurecraft 4D by the end of the year and has big plans for the future

Adidas is gearing up for a revolution in the world of sneakers: namely, the first sneakers made entirely with a 3D printer. The model will be called Futurecraft 4D and will be created by Silicon Valley-based startup Carbon. By the end of the year, at least 5,000 pairs will be released.

Adidas' goal is to get to mass production as quickly as possible. For this within the first months of 2018 will go from 5 thousand to 100 thousand pairs of Futurecraft 4D put on the market. These are very small numbers when compared to the company's other models, but they are significant numbers if we talk about products made through a 3D printer. Adidas hasn't released information about the price, for now, but has only promised that by 2021 much of its mass production could be made with this innovative system. And the sneakers are just the first step.

How Futurecraft 4D is made

The easiest part of the shoes to make in 3D is the insole. Since it is entirely made of foam. The trickiest part is the small accessories like zippers and hooks, which require metal molds and longer lead times. Thanks to new technological advances, however, Adidas has stated that it can handle all the processing steps in just two hours. This allows the company to test new models with athletes and create multiple prototypes before choosing the final one, and all in a very short time. For example, before creating the final version of the Futurecraft 4D, Adidas tested 50 different products.

Future Goals

(Taken from YouTube)

Adidas' future goal is to make insoles specifically for athletes and consumers. Everyone will be able to build their own favorite based on different sports and specific postures. Also, in authorized stores you will be able to go, choose your own insole and wait for it to be printed in a short time and then use it right away. 3D products have long been a topic of discussion even for rival companies like Nike, however Adidas will be the first to release a tennis shoe made in this way. Adidas and Carbon say the new process they have developed will allow them to create more complex geometric structures than other 3D printing methods, thus allowing for improved performance. The insoles will be designed to cushion differently to specific areas of the foot. Finally, and something not to be underestimated, Carbon's 3D printing system renders the object as one final piece. Particularly relevant in fashion accessories.