New Rapid Stamping Ground for Nike & Adidas

(Financial Times) Nike and Adidas are using 3D printing to make multiple prototype versions of shoes at a previously impossible speed. 3D printing accelerated development of Nike’s Vapor Laser Talon boot for professional American footballers.

“Within six months we were able to go through 12 rounds of prototype iterations that we fully tested, and ultimately we were able to make super dramatic improvements to our products,” Nike’s Director  of Innovation Shane Kohatsu said. Nike would previously update complex parts approximately every couple of years. Germany’s Adidas said 3D printers had reduced the time it needed to evaluate a new prototype from four to six weeks to one or two days.

What’s intriguing for the shoe manufacturers is not the volume of shoes that that 3D printers could produce today. It’s most impressed with how rapidly the design and prototype changes can be made.