Some of you may wonder what a shoe with a 3D printed sole looks like. You’ll notice they’re a little heavier than usual but still feel pretty good, using the Adidas Alphaedge 4D as an example. Traditional soles of about any kind are created with injection molding. Carbon Digital Light Synthesis does away with the process by opting for an elaborate building process that went through 50 different designs. It allows for the sole’s performance to be tested early on in the design phase, eliminating the need for prototypes. The photochemical process works by projecting light through an oxygen-permeable window into a reservoir of UV-curable resin. As the UV images are projected, the part solidifies, and the build platform rises. Oxygen inhibits the photochemical reaction so that there is always a thin, liquid interface of uncured resin between the window and the printing part.
Although 3D printed soles have a bit more heft to them, they provide durability. The printed webbing absorbs and redistributes shock and movement as your foot strides. 3D printed shoes can be easily customizable in the design process, which is especially ideal in the world of professional sports. The shoes take some getting used to, but once you’ve gotten used to the sensation you won’t want to take them off. They’re a pair that we at 3DShoes.com wouldn’t mind owning someday.