Nike’s 3D-Printed Shoe Uppers First in London Marathon

Eliud Kipchoge wore a pair of Nike trainers, which feature a 3D printed upper when he competed in the London Marathon April 22. “The process of solving expressly for Kipchoge’s needs began in earnest in early 2018,” said Nike. “Designers kicked off a rapid-fire prototyping phase, where they went through thousands of upper possibilities before hitting print on several variations for each prototype.”

Nike claims these are the first running shoes to feature 3D printed uppers. The uppers are made from a material called Flyprint, which is created using solid deposit modeling. With this method, a plastic filament is unwound from a coil, melted down, and laid down in layers to form the shoe. The shoe is the result of collaboration with the athlete Eliud Kipchoge, who tried to beat the marathon time with Nike’s Zoom Vaporfly Elite trainers. Kipchoge said that the shoe’s upper absorbed water making his shoes heavy as he tried to move around the course.

Source: Inside 3D Printing News

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