A shoemaker announced yesterday that it plans to launch a new running shoe for 2016 that would include a 3D printed midsole. New Balance hopes that this method will allow users to customise their shoes to fit their athletic needs. The sneaker, which is still unnamed, is set to be available in select stores starting April of next year.
This isn’t the first shoe company or designer to invest in 3D printed shoes. For the past few years, major athletic companies have hinted at using 3D printing to create their running shoes, but it wasn’t until just recently that the goal has begun to come to fruition.
In this way, a shoe could be more accurately customized to fit the unique shape of an individual’s feet.
In October, Adidas announced its partnership with the 3D printing company Materialise to create a similar 3D printed midsole for a running shoe, and Nike also announced its intentions to make a 3D printed sneaker.
The actual process involved isn’t technically “3D printing” in the strictest sense, but rather selective laser sintering (SLS), which involves using lasers to fuse shapes out of powdered material, building an object up layer by layer.
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