Adidas presents at MatX: Digital Light Synthesis - The Future of how we create

by Tobias Schwarzmüller (comments: 0)

3D-printing is a technology which revolutionizes many different industries and does even affect the sports industry.
adidas strategically partnered up with Carbon, a Silicon Valley-based tech company, to create the first performance footwear crafted with light and oxygen. This process called Digital Light Synthesis enables adidas to bring the most personalised performance products to consumers. adidas aims to create more than 100,000 pairs of this high-performance footwear by the end of 2018.

Dr. Chris Holmes, Director Materials Engineering FUTURE Team at adidas will report on how Digital Light Synthesis will provide consumers with bespoke performance products tailored to their individual physiological data, when and where they desire.

Source: adidas AG

3D printing has previously been used mostly to prototype products in development before they were produced with traditional manufacturing techniques. 3D printers are generally not designed for manufacturing at scale. Prints are often slow, require part supports that are ultimately thrown away, and use materials that are vastly inferior to those used for production, resulting in weak and brittle parts. Moreover, the 3D printing industry lacked the production-grade elastomers needed for a demanding athletic footwear application. To overcome this constraint, adidas turned to Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis technology, its factory-ready 3D printing method, and its high-performance materials to design and directly produce the next generation of athletic footwear.

Digital Light Synthesis is a breakthrough process pioneered by Carbon that uses digital light projection, oxygen-permeable optics, and programmable liquid resins to generate high-performance, durable polymeric products. Being an athlete-data driven design and manufacturing process Digital Light Synthesis allows adidas to precisely address the needs of each athlete in regards to movement, cushioning, stability, and comfort with one single component. Carbon’s unique programmable resin platform offers unparalleled performance with respect to material durability and elastomeric responsiveness.

In 2017, adidas unveiled Futurecraft 4D, the world’s first high performance footwear featuring midsoles crafted with light and oxygen using Digital Light Synthesis. The Futurecraft 4D’s midsole is born out of 17 years of running data, and brought to functional reality through a pioneering digital footwear component creation process that eliminated the necessity of traditional prototyping or moulding. With the new technology, adidas now operates on a completely different manufacturing scale and sport performance quality, officially departing from 3D printing, bringing additive manufacturing in the sport industry into a new dimension.

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