Adidas 本周五发布了世界首款可量产的3D打印运动鞋 Futurecraft 4D，其鞋底由 3D打印而成 ，计划在明年开始大规模生产，这是 Adidas 开发的最新一代3D运动鞋，也是其为强化时尚属性，发展定制业务的战略步骤之一。
现在人们已经可以通过 Adidas 官网自定义选择鞋子的颜色和图案，而 3D打印技术能够更好地应用于小规模生产以及限量款球鞋的制造，甚至能够根据消费者的体重和行走方式来定制鞋底。
其竞争对手 Nike，Under Armour 和 New Balance 也涉足了3D打印，不过迄今为止，只是通过这一技术帮助所赞助的远动员定制鞋底和生产高价位的新款鞋。主要原因是传统的3D打印速度较慢，价格也十分昂贵，质量也不如目前亚洲厂商普遍采用的注塑模具工艺所生产的产品。
传统的 3D打印机通过塑料粉来打印产品，Nike 的合作伙惠普公司就是用这种方法，而 硅谷创业公司 Carbon的新技术工作速度是传统方法的 10倍，成本还不到原来的一半。
Adidas 表示，在与Carbon 合作之后，能够解决很多原来的难题，生产出质量能够比肩注塑模具工艺的产品，且速度和价格都能够满足批量生产需求。Carbon 的投资方包括红杉资本（Sequoia Capital），通用电气（General Electric）和谷歌（Google）的投资公司，其最新技术采用光敏聚合树脂进行打印，在加热后变硬。
Carbon 的技术还能帮助 Adidas 更快更好地生产小批量的运动鞋。因为生产大部分鞋底所需要的金属模具需要使用 1万次才能收回成本，而且模具本身需要花费 4到 6周时间来制作和打磨。
从事 3D打印技术的 Wohlers Associates 负责人 Terry Wohlers 表示：“这种技术能够帮助我们以更低的价格生产一种或几种特定产品。”
Terry Wohlers 预计，随着汽车、医疗、牙科以及珠宝行业的推动，到 2022年，3D打印行业的销售额会是现在的4倍，达到 260亿美元。
Adidas 技术创新主管 Gerd Manz 在推出 Futurecraft 4D 运动鞋时表示：“这款运动鞋的面世，不仅仅是对我们公司，对于整个行业都是一个里程碑。”
Adidas希望今年能够出售 5000双 Futurecraft 4D，随着 Carbon将鞋底制造时间从现有的 90分钟缩短到 20分钟，希望明年能够出售 10万双。具体售价尚未透露，不过随着技术发展，生产的成本和售价也会降低。
Adidas launched a new sneaker on Friday with a 3D-printed sole that it plans to mass-produce next year, part of a broader push by the German sportswear firm to react faster to changing fashions and create more customised products.
Adidas already lets people customise the colour and pattern of shoes ordered online but new 3D printing methods will make small production runs, limited edition shoes and even soles designed to fit an individual’s weight and gait economical.
Rivals Nike, Under Armour and New Balance have also been experimenting with 3D printing but have so far only used the technique to make prototypes, soles tailored for sponsored athletes and a handful of high-priced novelty shoes.
That’s because traditional 3D printers are slower, more expensive and often create an inferior product than the injection moulds for plastic that are currently used to produce hundreds of millions of shoes each year, mostly in Asia.
However, Adidas says its new partnership with Silicon Valley start-up Carbon allows it to overcome many of those difficulties to produce a sole that can rival one made by an injection mould, and at a speed and price that allow for mass production.
“This is a milestone not only for us as a company but also for the industry,” said Gerd Manz, Adidas head of technology innovation, announcing the launch of its new “Futurecraft 4D” shoe. “We’ve cracked some of the boundaries.”
Carbon, financed by venture firms such as Sequoia Capital as well as funds set up by General Electric and Alphabet’s Google, has pioneered a technique that prints with light-sensitive polymer resin that is then baked for strength.
Standard 3D printers build up products with layers of plastic powder, a method used by Hewlett Packard which is working with Nike and says its newest machines work 10 times faster and at half the cost than earlier models.
Adidas hopes to sell 5,000 pairs of its “Futurecraft 4D” this year, and 100,000 next year as Carbon cuts the time it takes to print a sole from the current hour and a half to as low as 20 minutes per sole.
The shoes will sell at an unspecified premium price but Adidas plans to lower the cost as the technology develops.
Late last year Adidas sold a few hundred pairs of running shoes with soles made by regular 3D printing for $333 but they were relatively rigid and heavy and took 10 hours to print.