3D Printing Applied Into the Production of Adidas and Nike

It seems that there is a long distance between sports brand and technology, but actually it is. We all know that Nike has made a wearable devise of Nike+Fuelband, except for that, this sport brand and it’s competitors are trying to take 3D printing into their production.

We have to say that these two sport brands are very good at marketing. Adidas, which was slower than Nike in embracing new technology, in order to let consumers accept the fusion of 3D printing and sport goods, has held a 3D scanning, printing exhibition called “We Print Originals” with AllRightsReserve at Hong Kong from 5th.to 18th. Sept.2013. They printed a 750px pocket people as the like of spokesperson.

And Nike, Shortly before, launched the Vapor Laser Talon Boot sport shoes, which was designed for American football player.The soles were made by 3D printing from Nylon material, and then via traditional injection technology, inject the melted plastic material into the forming steel mould. This pair of shoes was said weighs 150 g, it can improve the sprint ability of athletes.

Is it only a gimmick of making the marketing by the present popular concept? Of course more than that, except for Adidas and Nike, other sport brands had already made the same attempt. As the present report of UK Financial Times, Both of Adidas and Nike had used the 3D printing into production field. The most three biggest 3D printing manufactures now——Germany EOS, American 3D Systems, and America and Israel JV Stratasys, their customer lists appeared the name of Reebok、New Balance、Under Armour、Nike、Adidas.

Specific application stay in the manufacture of sports shoes in terms of the model temporarily, especially the soles. 3D printer uses the materials such as plastic and metal prints out the simple plastic soles, added some tools like decorative nail or cleats. Because 3D printing is limited in the mass production, for now, it just focuses on football sport shoes and running shoes. Adidas said that the traditional shoes mould needs 12 manual workers, be finished in 4-6 weeks, however, it only needs 2 people in 1-2 days after the introduction of 3D printing technology.

Sum up the goods we now seeing, which a lot made by 3D printing, they have been used in mould production stage of much products. After all, though the price of 3D printer is so high, considering the quantity of model demanding is limited, so 3d printing is more flexible for factory owner. Some hardware intrepreneurs in Silicon Valley also uses 3d printing to produce some hardware of their products, for saving cost in production.

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