While shoe manufacturers have been using 3D printing to prototype shoes for years, this is the first shoe by a major manufacturer that plans to use 3D printing for the final product. The Nike Vapor Laser Talon is 3D printed using selective laser sintering to produce an ultra lightweight football shoe weighing only 159 grams (5.6oz) including cleats. Nike designed the cleats specifically to help athletes quickly accelerate from standstill.
As mentioned in the previous post where we looked at the cost of injection molding vs 3D printing, the value of the 3D printed part is in the complexity, not just the material cost. Nike are using this ‘free’ complexity to design the football cleats for maximum performance without being constrained by issues of manufacturability.
“Nike’s new 3D printed plate is contoured to allow football athletes to maintain their drive position longer and more efficiently, helping them accelerate faster through the critical first 10 yards of the 40… Translated to the game of football, mastering the Zero Step can mean the difference between a defensive lineman sacking the quarterback or getting blocked… SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes”
Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation.
There are so many sporting applications where a complex, customized product can be 3D printed in Nylon which is incredibly lightweight yet strong enough to withstand great stress if designed properly. What other sports do you know of that are ready for 3D printed components?
strvct refers to structure. With 3D printed nylon, delicate looking forms are actually incredibly strong while also being impossibly lightweight. We present a triangulated spin on the classic wedge pump, which brings to mind Cinderella’s glass slipper in its transparency. Expanding on this idea, we created a sandal with a 3D printed base and origami tyvek butterflies
We are seeing the number of the requests for 3D modelers increase every month to the point that a few of the Shapeways community members are getting a regular income stream from their 3D modeling skills. If you have some design skills you would like to offer for hire you can offer your services in the Shapeways forums so that people who are looking to hire a 3D designer can find you and some of your work. Many people want to 3D Print their ideas whether they be art, fashion, jewelry, products and architecture, sometime they just need a little help…