May 30, 2017 | By Julia

While 3D printing and fashion have been friendly with each other for a few years now, cross industry collaborations have generally been limited to experimental haute couture or customized artisanal designs. But that may all be about to change, thanks to the launch of a new Adidas design that’s as bold as it is functional.

Envisioned by architect-turned-designer KXIV, the new Adidas UltraBOOST Nest custom sneaker draws inspiration from the Beijing National Stadium, and features an advanced 3D printed locking system. For those new to the world famous piece of architecture, the Beijing National Stadium (perhaps better known as the “Bird’s Nest”) was used during the 2008 Olympics, and is well known for its unique, intricate structure designed by international architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron.

 Drawing on the whimsical design of the Bird’s Nest, KXIV’s new UltraBOOST Nest customs sport a textured upper lycra section that weaves seamlessly into a structural lacing system. Made from abrasive-resistant polyurethane, the upper lace layer utilizes two continuous laces which wrap around the entire shoe, and are held in place by an intense baking process set at 300 degrees.

A series of 3D printed double-loop cinch locks, placed at strategic points, hold the Stadium-inspired lacing in place, together with the heel-based anchoring system. All in all, the structure is both supportive and elastic. Alongside the bubble-like form of the Adidas UltraBOOST sole, the eye-catching blue colour references the Beijing National Aquatics Center, located directly next to the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

Though trained technically in architecture, KXIV (also known as Nathan Kiatkulpiboone) is no stranger to designer footwear. You may remember the designer’s previous efforts from the luxurious Jordan 11 “Thai Architecture” customs, released a few years back. Since then, the rapidly up-and-coming design guru has continued to branch out, experimenting with fashion, technology, and even literature.

“It is his belief that interdisciplinary skills are the catalyst for innovation and that collaboration with divergent minds enables valuable insight into design,” says a KXIV rep on the designer’s website. The new Adidas UltraBOOST Nest customs are a clear manifestation of that ethos, effectively bringing together 3D printing tech, architecture, and branded fashion.

And with the new kicks already blowing up on architecture, design, and fashion blogs across the web, there’s a clear business incentive to that interdisciplinary mentality too. No word on pricing and availability yet, but as a piece of clever branding and potentially a harbinger of footwear trends to come, the UltraBOOST Nest sneakers have already proven a huge success.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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