Reebok introduced a limited edition, 3D printed running shoe that replaces shoelaces with a new “liquid lace system,” in which printed materials are wrapped around the outsole resembling a vine.
The Floatride running shoe was designed at Reebok’s Liquid Factory, a two-year-old initiative at Reebok that utilizes a proprietary liquid material, state-of-the-art software, and robotics to draw shoes in three-dimensional layers. The liquid components of the 3D printed shoes are the stretch-to-fit web that hugs the outsole and a layer on the bottom-side of the shoe that provides lightweight traction.
Bill McInnis, Head of Reebok Future, told Digital Trends that the company plans to use this liquid manufacturing process to produce additional components of the shoe until entire sneakers can be built using this technique. This would not only make Reebok shoes weigh less, but also enable customization and quicker innovation by steering clear of the traditional molding process.
“Last year, we launched the Liquid Factory concept with the Liquid Speed shoe. It was definitely a striking silhouette, as we aimed to showcase the way that the 3D-drawing process could change the way shoes are made,” McInnis shared.
The next generation of Liquid Factory shoes will feature liquid materials not only on the outsole but also in the cushioning and upper fit systems.
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