Apr 11, 2016 | By Benedict

Footwear giant New Balance today announced the launch of its 3D printed Zante Generate running shoe. 44 pairs will be made available on Friday, April 15, both online and at the New Balance store in Boston, to commemorate the 44th anniversary of chairman Jim Davis’ acquisition of the company.

Trendy footwear company New Balance has long been ahead of the pack in the 3D printed shoe race. The Boston-based business has incorporated numerous technological innovations into its 3D printed midsole, collaborating with Intel and Nervous Systems in the process. The three-year development of a 3D printed midsole has seen the company experimenting with various techniques, with only a select group of athletes chosen to test the developing product. The soon-to-be-released Zante Generate represents the fruits of the company’s considerable labors, available to the general public for the first time.

New Balance owner and chairman Jim Davis purchased the company in 1972. As an homage to the owner, 44 pairs of the new 3D printed running shoe will be made available, one for each year of his tenure. The shoes will first be made available in the New Balance territory of Boston, Massachusetts, ahead of a future general release. The New Balance store at 583 Boylston Street is just a two-minute walk from the finish line of the Boston Marathon, which takes place three days after the much-anticipated shoe release.

“New Balance is at the forefront of 3D printing and has been utilizing this exciting and innovative technology to customize product for our athletes for a number of years,” said New Balance president and CEO Robert DeMartini. “Our unique position as both a manufacturer and retailer allows us to bring the world’s first 3D-printed running midsole to market. The Zante Generate demonstrates the strength of New Balance design and innovation and will allow consumers to own a piece of running technology history.”

The 3D printed midsole of the Zante Generate has been produced by New Balance in collaboration with 3D Systems, whose DuraForm® TPU Elastomer 3D printing material has been used for the precise SLS 3D printing process. The 3D printed section consists of a honeycomb structure, optimized for cushioning and stability. The rest of the shoe, whilst not 3D printed, also displays hallmarks of the iconic New Balance craftsmanship. The upper, for example, is taken from the Fresh Foam Zante v2, and features New Balance’s Fresh Foam cushioning.

The initial, limited edition run of the 3D printed shoes will become available at 9am E.T. on Friday, April 15, with each pair retailing for $400. Tip: you’ll need to run to the store to secure a place in line.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

 

 

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