May 10, 2017 | By Tess

Chinese sportswear company Peak Sport has launched its very first pair of commercial 3D printed sneakers, called Future. Not only are the 3D printed kicks a first for the company, but the ¥1299 ($188 USD) shoes are the first 3D printed running shoes to hit the Chinese market.

The 3D printed Future shoes were unveiled just days ago at a launch event in Beijing that attracted various notable characters, including the head of the China Space Foundation’s publicity department Shen Xingyun, Peak Sport’s deputy general manager Lin Bilian, and Beijing Sport University’s sports biomechanics prof Zhou Xinglong.

Peak Sport general manager Xu Zhihua was also present at the launch, and offered the following comment on the company's new footwear: “The Future sneakers are the newest achievement brought by Peak Sport's innovative strategy. Our target is to build Peak Sport into the most international, professional, and innovative sports brand in China.”

The 3D printed shoes themselves are visually similar to Peak Sport’s popular Yuepao 5 cushioned sneakers, but reportedly offer wearers a lighter and more flexible midsole. These beneficial features were realized—if you hadn’t guessed—with the help of advanced 3D printing technologies.

According to the company, its Future shoes were made using selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printers and a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) powder material, which was able to provide the flexibility and breathability needed to make the shoes as comfortable as possible. The 3D printed midsole is also notable for its lattice-like structure, which offers cushioned support to the wearer. It is not clear whether any part of the shoe except the midsole was 3D printed.

Peak Sports, which has four operational R&D centers in China and one in the United States, first began exploring the use of 3D printing for shoe manufacturing in 2013. At one point, the company was even enlisted to design and 3D print a pair of customized shoes for NBA player Dwight Howard.

Now, however, it seems Peak Sport is ready to hit the commercial market with its 3D printed Future shoes, following sportswear giants Adidas, New Balance, and Nike, all of which have used 3D printing technologies for footwear manufacturing. (Most notably, Adidas recently announced it would be mass producing its 3D printed FutureCraft 4D sneakers in collaboration with 3D printing company Carbon.)

"Peak Sport will continue technology innovation and keep producing professional sports products," concluded Xu. "Peak Sport will strive to become the leading sports brand in China and go international."



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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