Under Armour is releasing a limited batch of 3d printed training shoes - 96 of them to be exact - that are made possible by cost savings and aestheic qualities linked to 3d printing.
"It is very, very costly,” Under Armour Vice President Chris Lindgren said of injection molding, one of the most common methods of manufacturing in existence. “Three-D printing is a way to get all that crap out of the way and get right to the essential piece you want to design.”
What UA wants is a shoe that provies stability for weight exercises with the benefits of an agile sneaker that allows for speed training, and 3d printing the midsole of the sneaker allows the company to bring forward new materials options without mass producing thousands of sneakers at a high cost.
While the company is using 3d printing to launch a limited number of Architech 3d printed sneakers, they are also using the technology in a manner more familiar to many other businesses across the country.
According to Sports Illustrated, the athletic apparel company based in Baltimore "went through 'innumerable' prototypes and more than 120 hours of testing to get to the final design, a process that would not have been possible with traditional molding."