As a new field begins to open up and investors become excited, there has to be research done that verifies whether a theory can actually be placed into the realm of actual creation. Often this process occurs in colleges throughout the world. Grad students and their mentors/professors submit papers and the discussion typically only exists in academia. In technology the discussion inevitably moves from theory on paper into production which contributes to the growth of an industry. These experiments are then shared in conferences and presented in tech events around the country. is always interested in the new creations and ideas of additive manufacturing and mining the resource of the CHI Conference creates an opportunity to present those studies which eventually become the foundation of industry. In the first of a series of post analyzing the most interesting presentations from the CHI Conference this year we are introducing you to a team of developers who have studied the properties of 3D printing and combined that information with the process of textile manufacturing. The combination is seen in 3D printing with more flexible properties.

Authors: Michael L. Rivera Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  Melissa Moukperian Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
  Daniel Ashbrook Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA
  Jennifer Mankoff Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
  Scott E. Hudson Carnegie Mellon, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The topic:

The research can be found at the source link above, but this video shows how textile manufacturing can be combined with 3D printing to produce flexible products. While the video below is very short it gives insight into where 3D printing is heading. Consider the concept of a malleable upper with rigid flex points. Instead of the Futurecraft 4D, you could literally get an entire performance shoe that flexes and bends with rigid support where it's needed like in a basketball shoe. The opportunities are endless.