Herzogenaurach, Germany -- A thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) midsole is key to Adidas’ Futurecraft 3D running shoe – a customisable 3D-printed concept trainer unveiled on October 7, 2015.
The idea is that by briefly running on a treadmill fitted with existing data sourcing and footscan technologies, enough information is provided for in-house 3D-printed sole production – meaning customers would be able to walk away from stores with their customised product immediately.
To create the shoe’s structure, 3-matic STL software was used and a laser sintered process with powdered TPU was used to create it. Materialise and Adidas worked together on the concept.
Materialise claims the partnership has brought about “the first durable fully-flexible 3D-printing material in a consumer product.”
Eric Liedtke, executive board member at Adidas, said: “Futurecraft 3D is a prototype and a statement of intent.
“We have used a one-of-its-kind combination of process and material in an entirely new way. Our 3D-printed midsole not only allows us to make a great running shoe, but also to use performance data to drive truly bespoke experiences,” he added.
Daniel Cocking, Adidas’ footwear development manager, said: “It [TPU] is brand new in the marketplace and convinced us with its durable elasticity as well as high tear strength and abrasion resistance.”