To follow up on a previous post about Nike’s 3D printed running shoes. Eliud Kipchoge won the 2018 London Marathon wearing the Nike VaporFly Elite Flyprint trainers, which has the world’s first 3D printed upper. With only using a 3D printer and a thermoplastic polyurethane filament Nike is able to create shoes to exact measurement and performance data. This is an advantage over Flyknit because it makes it easier to achieve something three-dimensional. The method of 3D printing shoe uppers allows experimentation with different kinds of weaves with much precision and control. Certain sections of the shoes are firm, while others are flexible and breathable.
The 3D printed TPU textile also works with other materials to provide the optimal balance of fit and structure. Nike’s Flyknit yarns can be created to thermally bond with their Flyprint textile, which takes away a need for glue or stitching. The trainers were developed for last year’s Berlin Marathon and perfected just in time for London’s Marathon. In the future, we can expect to see 3D printed shoes that are more completely made using this method, and possibly even print them in our own homes! You can always count on us at 3DShoes.com to keep an eye out for these possibilities.
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