Aug 31, 2017 | By Tess

Chinese sportswear brand PEAK has unveiled what could be the first ever pair of 3D printed basketball sneakers. The 3D printed sports shoes were presented just days ago at the 2017 PEAK China Tour and Dwight Howard III Press Conference.

In May of this year, PEAK came onto our radar with the release of its 3D printed ‘Future’ sneakers, its first 3D printed footwear product. Not only a breakthrough for PEAK as a company, the Future sneakers were also the first additively manufactured running shoes to hit the Chinese market.

Now, the company has achieved another first with the release of the first pair of 3D printed basketball sneakers—notable for their high-top support.

At the PEAK/Dwight Howard event, the Charlotte Hornets player announced his next line of basketball shoes, called DH3. Made in collaboration with PEAK, Howard’s new generation of shoes come in two iterations: a red pair, which are not 3D printed, and a white pair, which do feature 3D printed parts.

And while the red pair are pretty flashy, our attention was obviously drawn to the 3D printed sneakers. According to PEAK, the Dwight Howard III-3D basketball shoe integrates a 3D printed TPU structure that makes up the shoe’s “vamp side walls,” as well as a complex 3D lattice structure in the mid-sole.

NBA star Dwight Howard with the 3D printed DH3 basketball shoes

3D printing allowed the shoe’s designers to explore new and innovative design possibilities for the shoes, all while maintaining their high-performance properties. The shoes were manufactured using selective laser sintering (SLS) 3D printing technology.

"This pair of boots has obviously higher performance than traditional ones,” stated Howard. “I felt that the 3D printed soles and vamp side walls enable a more comfortable wearing experience. Maybe, one day in the future, you'll see me wearing the 3D printed basketball boots, footwear designed based on R&D carried out by PEAK, during an NBA competition."

This, of course, means that the 3D printed basketball boots will not be hitting the NBA courts right away, but it might be fun to keep an eye for them regardless. There is no word yet on whether they will be released commercially.

"As a new prototyping and processing technology, 3D printing is of great significance to Chinese sports brands and the country's Made in China 2025 strategy,” said Xu Zhihua, PEAK’s general manager. “Our goal is to transform PEAK into the world's leading professional sports brand through continuous innovation and ongoing expansion into international markets.”

PEAK first started using 3D printing technologies for its footwear R&D three years ago, when it bought its first 3D printer. Since then it has found many ways to leverage the technology to make both aesthetic and performance enhancements to its products. With the release of its second 3D printed footwear product, the company says it plans to use 3D printing more often and for a wider number of products.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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