07 Apr '17, 4am

3-D-Printed Sneakers, Tailored to Your Foot

3-D-Printed Sneakers, Tailored to Your Foot

It currently takes 90 minutes to print a single insole; Carbon is working with Adidas to develop machinery to speed this up to 20 minutes. Carbon’s printers use patterned laser light to print continuously out of a liquid bath of polymer “ink.” The continuous process, which makes the printers fast, is possible because the printing baths maintain an oxygen barrier at the bottom that prevents the solidified polymer from sticking. Continuous printing also means the parts are uniform, compared with other technologies that print one layer at a time. The layer-by-layer approach can cause mechanical weakness at the interfaces between the layers—something Carbon’s process avoids. Carbon has also focused on chemical engineering of polymers. For the Adidas collaboration, the company tailored a printable elastomer with the right mechanical properties and colors for the shoe.

Full article: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604058/3-d-printed-sne...

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