Adidas Uses Robotic Weaver to Create New Type Of Shoes


German shoe manufacturer Adidas has combined 3D printing with robotic automation to create a new sneaker design part of a project called Futurecraft.Strung.

The new footwear comes with a 3D-printed sole and an upper shoe section woven by a manufacturing robot with around 2.000 threads from as many as 10 different sneaker yarns. The idea behind the project is not a new one. Adidas first began working on Futurecraft.Strung back in 2016 followed 2 years later by a collaboration with Kram/Weisshaar, a digital design studio founded by Reed Kram and Clemens Weisshaar in 2002.

Then, not even 1 year later, the software and hardware for the woven upper shoe were completed, with the design constructed around the way a person’s feet move as they run. This type of design and technology brings advantages for athletes as it adds more flexibility and can be customized to fit a particular person’s gate due to the high-resolution scans used to create it.

According to the company, the upper section, called Strung, can be custom made to achieve a comfortable fit by creating complex geometric models courtesy of robotics weavers. Not just that, but a single Strung upper can be completed in 45 minutes while a pair of sneakers takes double that time, with Adidas planning to drastically reduce that timeframe in the following months.

“With Strung for the first time, we can program single threads in any direction, where each thread has a different property or strength,” Fionn Corcoran-Tadd, an innovation designer at Adidas’ Futurecraft lab, said in a company video. “This is like customized string art for your feet.”

The blog post goes on to describe how a more flexible design can benefit athletes in a diverse variety of sports.

Adidas 3D Weaver

“The STRUNG upper provides a seamless, lightweight cocoon around the foot, achieved with minimal excess material,” Adidas’s blog post reads. ”Precision fit and support locks the heel to help prevent heel slip using stronger red threads in the heel, midfoot, and toe-box. Meanwhile, the forefoot is flexible, with softer yellow threads. The midsole is our most radical ADIDAS 4D lattice design to date—featuring a new shape that caters to forefoot strikers. The heel has been minimized to remove weight, and the rubber outsole is specifically shaped to help support grip on these fast runs. ”

The current Futurecraft.Strung upper design is still in the prototype stage Commercial versions are expected to be available later this year or in early 2022.

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Adidas Uses Robotic Weaver to Create New Type Of Shoes

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