Back in March, Under Armour revealed the first 3D printed shoes to actually hit the market, the 3D ARCHITECHs. These were and still are a big deal because they kicked off what has now turned into a case of 2016 3D printed footwear retail mania. During our time at this year's Autodesk University, we spotted the 3D ARCHITECHs IRL (and partially deconstructed!).
Cameo alert: Rain Noe's hand Enter a caption (optional)
Here's a quick video showing how the soles are made:
"Under Armour Used selective laser sintering (SLS) to 3D print the ARCHITECH's flexible yet durable complex lattice structure, made from a bonded chalky substrate." (display stand copy in first image)
The 3D ARCHITECH's lattice sole structure is durable—and looks extra cool when removed from the rest of the shoe—but what happens if the wearer runs through mud? Or in a worse and more unlikely scenario, animal poop? Answer: weighed down sneakers and a lot of cleaning.
These kicks may be restricted to indoor sports, but what matters right now is the new sole design Under Armour created. They set the standard for 3D printed sneakers to move beyond a normal sneaker design and push forward to something new. This year, we've also covered the Reebok Liquid Speeds, which use liquid 3D printing instead of powder and look similar to the 3D ARCHITECHs if you squint really hard.
I find the design—while restrictive—of the 3D ARCHITECHs is more innovative, while the process of creating the Liquid Speeds takes the win over the ARCHITECHs.
What are your thoughts? Which method/design do you find more game changing?