The 3D Printed Adidas Shoe

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The future has arrived and so far it seems sportswear giant Adidas is embracing it. While many manufacturers and designers are concerned about the implications of 3D printing, Adidas doesn't appear to harbor those same fears. Instead they are welcoming the new technology and innovating alongside it. On Wednesday, Adidas unveiled their "Futurecraft 3D" a 3D-printed customized running-shoe designed to meet the needs of each individual's foot.

Hailing the unveiling as a "production breakthrough,” the company envisions its customer entering one of its stores, undertaking a few tests, and then almost immediately getting a custom-fitted, 3D-printed running shoe that is tailored to the needs of their feet. 

 

“Futurecraft is our sandbox. It is how we challenge ourselves every day to explore the boundaries of our craft,” said Paul Gaudio, creative director at Adidas. “Driving material and process innovation, bringing the familiar into the future. Marrying the qualities of hand crafting and prototyping with the limitless potential of new manufacturing technologies. Futurecraft is stripped back—fast, raw, and real—it is our approach to design.”

While many companies are worried that one day they will be replaced by home 3D manufacturing labs, Adidas is hoping to confront the very real challenge of the democratization of style and manufacturing head on by integrating the technology instead of avoiding it.

Whether the gamble pays off remains to be seen, what we do know is that fashion will be in for a major transformation in the coming decades.