How 3D Printing Can Change The Future Of Nike Footwear

January 9th, 2014 by

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Over the last decade, 3D printing has made huge forward strides in development. This style of additive manufacturing has the potential to change the way manufacturing as a whole is done – and for Nike, a company that heavily relies on creating molds and primary structures that assist in the production process, the possibilities are endless. For designers, 3D Printing has sped up the process by months; molds that typically takes 2-3 months to take shape can now be accomplished in a few short hours. During today’s Nike Super Bowl Symposium, the Vapor Carbon Cleat was unveiled – a shoe that utilizes the next-generation manufacturing process on the actual shoe. The cleat will debut at the Super Bowl, undoubtedly the sport’s most significant platform.

But beyond cleats, 3D Printing has the potential to touch a variety of sports across the board. Nike is indeed the first footwear company to implement this concept into the industry as its been in use to create cosmetic models and such, and for the future, the plans are to use 3D printing wherever possible. So could this cross over into the sport of basketball or running? Could the translation from 3D rendering to physical sculpture be made that much more efficient, resulting in a finer, more accurate final product? Will we see the first 3D printed LeBron or Kobe shoe? We talked with Nike Design Director Shane Kohatsu, who filled us in on Nike’s role with 3D Printing, so check out the interview below.

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