Adidas reveals Futurecraft STRUNG 3D printed shoes

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German sportswear brand Adidas revealed what it describes as the “ultimate” 3D printed shoes, the Futurecraft.STRUNG. Source: Adidas.

Adidas has been working with 3D printing technologies for a few years, trying to find new ways to make footwear. Its FUTURECRAFT division, for instance, aims to shape the future of sports through its innovations with concepts, such as the FUTURECRAFT 4D shoes with a 3D printed lattice sole. Recently, Adidas announced its latest technology, STRUNG, a revolutionary textile innovation that aims to further improve footwear performance.

“As a business, we’re constantly striving for optimum footwear performance. To achieve this, we need to get the most out of our materials […] This is why we developed STRUNG: an industry-first textile and creation process that allows us to input athlete data into the precision placement of each thread in any direction we choose. “

Adidas Futurecraft.Strung team

Right now, the team is able to build and test different structures in the software before sending their design to the STRUNG robot, which places each thread into a single composite with specific performance zones and properties. Besides, the prototype weighs just 220g (7.7oz).

Picture: FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG first product concept. In order to create this, Adidas identified two runners as experts in a specific type of running. Both runners provided motion capture and ongoing feedback to support development. At present, the STRUNG is just a prototype. Source: Adidas Blog.

Adidas’ Futurecraft team uses Digital Light Synthesis technology to create the STRUNG 3D printed shoes

While FUTURECRAFT 4D used 3D printing technologies to fabricate the sole, STRUNG uses a unique process to combine the athlete’s profile, additive manufacturing, and robotics to create the shoe. The result is a lightweight upper that’s fits precisely to give support, flex, and breathability — all within one piece of material.

Moreover, the STRUNG shoe does not need reinforcement from other components that can hinder the natural movement of athletes, as is the case with other textiles.

Picture: the STRUNG robot. Source: Adidas.

Being able to manufacture a custom part is one of the most beneficial characteristics of additive manufacturing. Therefore, Adidas’ latest shoe concept combines STRUNG technology for the upper and FUTURECRAFT technology for the midsole. In fact, the midsole is made with Carbon’s DLS (Digital Light Synthesis). This Additive Manufacturing technology relies on a photopolymerization process to harden a resin layer by layer and create the performance-enhancing lattice structure.

“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, meeting the needs of any athlete.”

Eric Liedtke, Executive Board Member of Adidas AG.

The first STRUNG shoe for the public is currently in development. It will be released in late 2021 or early 2022. Adidas wants to expand the use of the STRUNG upper to other sports. You can find more information about FUTURECRAFT.STRUNG project on the Adidas official website.

Related category: 3D Printed shoes.

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