February 4, 2023
Unit-927, JMD Megapolis, Gurugram
Articles

Part-1 | 3D Printing in Footwear

MARKET OVERVIEW

Market growth will ACCELERATE at a CAGR of about 18.4%.

Incremental Growth

In recent years around 15% about USD 2318.2 Million of the U.S. youth population prefer 3D Printed Footwear Market for better lifestyle and comfort.

Regional Distribution

In recent years around 15% of the U.S. youth population prefer 3D Printed Footwear Market for better lifestyle and comfort.

Attributes

The growing additive industry and key investors willing to explore the 3D footwear demand is expected to generate revenue from the 3D Printed Footwear Market. Customized demand from the consumer sector for special footwear is fueling the Global 3D Printed Footwear Market.

Future Market Projection

On the basis of region, Asia Pacific is projected to dominate the worldwide 3D Printed Footwear market in the coming years.

Key Trends

Major players such as Adidas and Nike are investing heavily in the research and development of 3D Printed Footwear Market. The most common technique used in developing this footwear is AM hardware units and by 2025 this technology is expected to generate revenue up to USD 5,500 million.

Powder bed fusion (PBF) is one of the most common AM technologies in footwear production today and is used especially for mass customization applications such as insoles, producing as much as 80% to 85% of all final parts .

SWOT ANALYSIS

STRENGTHS

WEAKNESS

OPPORTUNITY

THREAT

  • Complete customization.
  • Innovative, intricate designs.
  • Large potential market.
  • Custom materials.
  • Limited material available for 3D printing.
  • Weaker than traditionally manufactured shoes.
  • 3D software and 3D printing machines are pretty expensive.
  • Designer and luxury products.
  • Fast prototyping and molding.
  • Faster time to market.
  • Easier low batch production for start ups
  • Lack of standardization of machines.
  • Low-quality products.
  • Equipment and product costs are high.
  • Impacts the environment.

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Henkel and Stratasys have teamed up with ECCO to develop new footwear manufacturing techniques.
  • Adidas and Carbon are working together to create athletic footwear, using Carbon Digital Light SynthesisTM (Carbon DLSTM) 3D printing method to create Futurecraft 4D.
  • Nike has teamed up with HP to fast track innovations in 3d printing.
  • SOLS Systems, a leader and pioneer of medical and consumer-grade 3D printed orthotics and software used for mass customization of footwear, has been acquired by Aetrex Worldwide, a global leader in comfort and wellness footwear products and technology.
  • Materialise has signed an agreement with HP to develop an end-to-end 3D solution for designing and manufacturing custom 3D printed footwear, specifically insoles, through a partnership with RSPrint.
  • Zellerfeld, a start-up in the field of 3D printing for footwear, has teamed up with fashion designer Heron Preston to create a one-of-a-kind HERON01 sneaker.
  • Nike launched Flyprint – the world’s first trainer that’s upper half is crafted through 3D printing.
  • The Prodways Group has been working on a 3D printing application for customized insoles.

DETAILED INSIGHTS ON TOP MARKET PLAYERS

Nike

  • Application(s): Mass customized uppers, custom football cleats
  • Technology: SDM (Solid Deposit Modeling), SLS
  • Technology provider: EOS, Prodways for SLS, SDM developed internally
  • Material: TPU/nylon

Adidas

  • Application(s): Lattice Mass Produced Midsoles
  • Technology: DLS (Digital Light Synthesis)
  • Technology provider: Carbon
  • Material: Polyurethane

Peak

  • Application(s): Complete Sole
  • Technology: SLS, melt-extruded filament
  • Technology provider: Shining 3D
  • Material: TPU

Under Armour

  • Application(s): Limited edition midsoles
  • Technology: SLS
  • Technology provider: EOS
  • Material: TPU

New Balance

  • Application(s): Limited edition midsoles, customized spike plates
  • Technology: SLS, SLA
  • Technology provider: EOS and 3D Systems for SLS, Formlabsfor SLA
  • Material: Nylon and Duraform TPU for SLS, new durable Formlabs resins in development for SLA

Reebok

  • Application(s): Mass produced uppers
  • Technology: Liquid Drawing (pneumatic material extrusion via robotic arm)
  • Technology provider: Internal
  • Material: BASF polyurethane

COLLABORATIONS

They have formed a partnership for 3D printing using chromatic Flextune polyurethane material, where they will create PU based 3D printed part for automotive, rail and footwear sectors.

Carbon and adidas have collaborated for manufacturing the athletic footwear where Adidas will use the carbon’s digital light synthesis technology. In this technology, a factory-made 3D printing method which includes high performance materials are designed and produced for manufacturing products

New Balance partnership with Formlabs for manufacturing athlete footwear using Photopolymer resin that was created by formlabs called rebound resin. The technology is designed to create springy, resilient lattice structures with durability, reliability and longevity. 

Chinese 3D printer manufacturer Farsoon technology partnered with Peak sport products Co. to develop a mid-sole for comfort wear using additive manufacturing technology. Faroon and PEAK sports have done a lot of experimental engineering for making footwear.

MAJOR PRODUCTS IN THE MARKET

The new sneaker which was launched in 2018 is the first Liquid Factory product to make it to market. It features 3D printed “laces,” Liquid Grip on the sole, and the company’s new Flexweave material.

Adidas 4D lattice midsole was developed using 17 years of athlete data and 3D printing to deliver precisely-tuned support and cushioning right where you need it. The slip-on snug textile allows your feet to breathe on the go.
Adidas Y3 Runner 4D II is a cutting-edge footwear design that combines the latest technology from the Three Stripes with Yohji Yamamoto’s impeccable eye. It utilizes innovative 4D technology from Adidas. A groundbreaking 3D-printed thicker and higher midsole is constructed with the help of light and oxygen.

Chinese sportswear brand PEAK Sports products introduced a new model of fully 3D printed sneakers – upper, midsole and outsole – in the domestic Chinese market.

The first 3D-printed running was launched by Nike called Flyprint. To create this footwear thermoplastic filament (TPU) “is unwound from a coil, melted and laid down in layers.”

The Futurist features a center-mounted quarter zipper, a compression system with a rear opening instead of laces and 3D-printed midsoles. These TPU insoles are 3D-printed using selective laser sintering.

START-UPS

Insights: It is observed that upcoming start-ups in the domain focus on fully customized end products.

A startup from America, developed their own 3D printer, using a Fused Filament Fabrication technique, and their own 3D printing material; a patented polymer. US2017066196A1

The shoes are 3D printed using the highest quality nylon material, offering flexibility to allow a healthy range of motion, while supporting your unique arches.

The insoles are designed in 3D and produced according to your measurement and needs..

A USA based startup, have taken the initiative to launch a fully 3D printed show called the Earth Suit Shoe.

The 3D scanner allows you to create a precise 3D footprint to 0.02 mm thanks to its infrared depth sensor that provides a high degree of accuracy.

The luxury footwear brand has used 3D printing technology to create a range of shoes called the ‘Exobiology’ collection. The 3D printing provides wearers a close fit to their natural foot shape

RESA is the world’s foremost foot-care & 3D printing platform

FEW INTERESTING MATERIAL PROVIDERS

Voxel8 is a company that is bringing novel materials to 3D printing. ActiveMix® printheads are highly precise dynamic mixing and dispensing heads that enable additive manufacturing with reactive high performance elastomers like polyurethanes, silicones, and epoxies. Voxel8’s ActiveImage® process takes things one step further by enabling full digital color control of the printed parts.

3D printing from voxeljet enables the production of tailor-made shoes that could even offer consumers performance and comfort enhancing functions. Additive manufacturing processes, such as voxeljet‘s High Speed Sintering, pave the way for the additive shoe production of tomorrow through customized production and material development.

Eastman Amphora™ SP1621 3D polymer is ideal for a variety of powder-based additive manufacturing techniques, including laser sintering processes. Superior compression and rebound properties—ideal for creating customized elastomeric parts, e.g., athletic footwear.

PCTPE stands for “Plasticized Copolyamide TPE” or a chemical co-polymer of highly flexible nylon and TPE (thermoplastic elastomer). PCTPE has several unique features that allow any user to print a highly flexible part with the added durability of our nylon polymers. 

Filamentum has developed a 3D printed shoe collection. The Organic shoe collection was created to make sustainable footwear and accessories. The sandal line integrates 3D printed outsoles from a TPU-based Flexfill 98, Malai also known as coconut leather, and Piñatex, a natural fabric made from pineapple leaves.

RAW MATERIAL PROVIDERS

3D printing materials mimic a wide array of engineering plastics, elastomers and composites with proper flexibility, durability, stiffness, toughness, stability, clarity, look and feel, bio-compatibility, temperature or water resistance and more

ESTANE® 3D TPU portfolio is engineered to meet strict market requirements for 3D printed parts while still offering material that is flexible and soft.

3D print parts using FDM technology and ABSplus in nine colors using production-grade thermoplastics. Designing can be iterative with ABSplus's affordability and color range. With hands-free soluble support removal you can do more for less while printing strong, stable parts

Other Major Providers: DSM, NinjaTek, LehVOSS Group, Solvay, BASF, MatterHackers, ARKEMA, Henkel, HUNTSMAN, Sebic, NatureWorks, cubiccure, EVONIK, Victrex. 

PRINTER SUPPLIERS

HP is breaking down barriers to 3D printing adoption through materials innovation with their growing portfolio of thermoplastics that deliver optimal mechanical properties—from ductility to stiffness.

MatterHackers is a US based company that supplies 3D printing materials and tools. Materials: PLA, ABS, PETG, Nylon, Carbon Fiber, TPU/TPE, Metal Composites.

Mitsubishi has a lot of bulk desktop FDM which it sells direct and indirect, mainly through retail and OEMs. Mitsubishi-developed materials, Durabio and BioPBS.

Other Major Providers: Markforged, Desktop Metal, Formlabs, Ultimaker, Glowforge, Profound 3D, PRUSA Research by Josef Prusa

SERVICE PROVIDERS

Materialise, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, is one of the largest and most long-established independent companies in the 3D printing / additive manufacturing sector. The company provides comprehensive 3D printing services.

A Germany based company. EOS is the leading technology provider worldwide for industrial 3D printing of metals and plastics.

3D Print Singapore offers professional 3D printing services. Using advanced 3D printing technologies such as FDM.

Other Major Providers: Stratasys, PRODWAYS  TECH, Shining 3D, Carbon 3D, FDM Digital Solutions, Velo 3D, 3D Systems, Sculpteo

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