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  • Writer's pictureMacalister Bali

Disruption Of The Footwear Industry

3D printing dose seem to be disrupting the footwear industry to some extent. As probably one of the least expected industries to be changed by 3D printing, fashion has tapped into the power of this technology to redefine the clothing and accessories that you wear on a daily basis. Additive manufacturing will impact both the designers and the consumers that they design for across the world.

The craft of creating footwear have been around for centuries, and for a long time it was all done by hand .Now 3D printing in footwear is looking to take it to the next level with more and more designers and manufacturers looking into the possibilities.

The footwear sector is already a huge industry consisting of a variety of materials and products with everything from men’s and women’s footwear to specialized product like snowboard boots , etc. In 2018 the industry generated over $106 billion globally. A majority of the companies working in the industry still use the traditional methods. However there is a growing market for implementing 3D printing, and especially in the sportswear industry with brands such as Nike, Under Armour and Reebok coming out with their take on it.

Adidas has been experimenting with 3D printing as a method of manufacturing athletic shoes for quite sometime. You’re about to see the Futurecraft 4D could very well be the gold medal winner of the athletic show printing race. The middle of the sole is created by a process known as Continuous Liquid Interface Production. It’s phenomenal to watch sole take its form.

The Advantage

Quick Production of Parts and Prototypes

The old phrase; “time is money” fits 3D Printing like a glove when it comes to product development. Print prototypes in hours, obtain feedback, refine designs and repeat the cycles quickly until designs are perfect. This enables you to bring products to market before your competition does and at a lower cost.

Less waste

Manufacturing metal and plastic prototypes with traditional manufacturing methods is usually a wasteful process with chunky parts and a lot of surplus material. Making similar prototypes using 3D printing manufacturing not only uses less energy but also reduces waste to a minimum

New shapes and structures

Traditional manufacturing methods rely on molds and cutting technologies to produce a finite number of shapes and structures, with more complex hollow ones having to be created from several parts and assembled together. But 3D printing changes this altogether – the 3D printer’s nozzle can build an unlimited amount of complex figures, being limited only by human imagination.

New combinations of materials

Mixing different raw materials is not always possible with traditional manufacturing methods due to the sometimes high costs involved and to their physical and chemical properties that make them difficult to combine. 3D printing has removed many

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