Stratasys is working with American stop-motion animation studio LAIKA, as well as Nike, to 3D print exclusive shoes. They will be a special edition of the Missing Link x Nike Air Max Susan shoe, for LAIKA’s movie ‘Missing Link.’ The original version of the shoe is a collaboration between Nike and LAIKA and manufactured using 3d printing. The shoe is designed by Nike VP Tinker Hatfield and former animator Michael Berger. This special edition shoe was developed with 3D printing technology and was made specifically for the character Mr. Link to wear. With the original design, Hatfield and Berger wanted to use the materials of Link’s plaid suit with a Nike Air Max 1. It was stated that the suit pays homage to the character’s Pacific Northwest roots.
The Air Max 1 is an uplifting and happy design, it mixed well with Mr. Link’s character. The shoe features cufflinks, a leather-wrapped midsole, and a checkered design. 3D printed shoes are not the only thing utilizing 3D printing in this collaboration. The film uses 106,000 3D printed faces made with 3D printers from Stratasys. LAIKA also used 3D printing with its previous films such as Coraline, Paranorman, and The Boxtrolls to create stop-motion animation. Some films used as much as 23,187 different 3D printed faces for one character. The company was recognized for its use of 3D printing by earning the Scientific and Engineering Oscar plaque.