Reebok's 3D-Printed Sneaker Tech Is a Huge Step Forward

The product coming out of the brand’s new Liquid Factory is, in many ways, unprecedented.

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For Nike it was Air. For Adidas it was Boost. And now, for Reebok, it’s liquid.

Reebok just unveiled its latest footwear innovation, a process of assembling sole technology by using 3D printing to create dynamic outsoles that are as responsive as they are shapely.

Here’s how the process works: A viscous liquid is piped onto a flat surface, creating something of a flexible, rubberized sculpture that is applied to the sole of a shoe, wrapping from the bottom up to the upper and then into the lacing system to create a flexible exterior cage that moves with the wearer with every step, changing shape as needed.

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In some ways, this is unprecedented. Nike and Adidas have publicly played with making shoes in new ways, but Reebok has officially taken the lead in 3D printing with this technology, which has been dubbed “3D drawing.” The entire process has been perfected as a part of the launch of Reebok’s “Liquid Factory” banner, under the auspices of which a new Rhode Island-based factory is set to open.

“Footwear manufacturing hasn’t dramatically changed over the last 30 years,” explains Bill McInnis, Head of Future at Reebok (coolest department name ever), who happens to be a former NASA engineer. “Every shoe, from every brand, is created using molds—an expensive, time-consuming process. With Liquid Factory, we wanted to fundamentally change the way that shoes are made, creating a new method to manufacture shoes without molds. This opens up brand new possibilities both for what we can create, and the speed with which we can create it.”

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If this news sounds familiar, it should. Adidas just announced its own Speedfactory, set to open in Georgia in 2017. That came after Nike committed to bringing 10,000 jobs to U.S. shores in the next decade. We speculated that Adidas’ movement on this issue might put pressure on Nike to expedite the process, but already Reebok has taken the initiative, making sneaker production a more homegrown process. If creating American manufacturing jobs becomes the next big trend in footwear, that’s something we can really get behind.

“With this new process, we were able to program robots to create the entire shoe outsole, without molds, by drawing in layers with a high-energy liquid material to create the first ever energy-return outsole, which performs dramatically better than a typical rubber outsole,” McInnis says. “The all new Liquid Factory process is also used to create a unique fit system that stretches and molds around the foot, providing a three-dimensional fit.”

The Liquid Speed is just the first sneaker that Reebok has developed to use this technology—and we can expect the brand to take it further. There has never been a more exciting time in footwear than right now. The latest sneaker boom has forced companies to search out entirely novel ways to create and manufacture shoes, pushing the boundaries first of what was expected and now of what’s (arguably) acceptable.

If you told hardcore sneaker aficionados four years ago that they’d been running on 3D-printed outsoles from Reebok, they wouldn’t bother responding. But while we were looking somewhere else, Reebok quietly created the most exciting advancement in sneaker technology this year. This is why you’ve got to stay paying attention.

Reebok’s Rhode Island Liquid Factory is set to open early next year, but if the shoes shown in Reebok’s video are your jam, there’s no need to wait that long: The Liquid Speed is available now. There are only 300 pairs of the shoe available, and they’re live now through and FinishLine.

Act fast. Each pair is individually numbered, tagged, and boxed for the record.

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Excelvan Professional PLA 3.0MM Double Color 3D Filament Printing Materials Spool of 3D Printer Filament 1kg/2.2lbs With Tolerances: +/-0.02mm for RepRap MarkerBot MakerGear Ultimaker etc. (Blue+Green)

This is the best filament on the market. The 1.75mm filament holds a diameter tolerance of 0.02mm/0.0008″ which improves reliability and quality of output and comes vacuum-sealed with the desiccant on a 1kg (2.2lb) reel. We tested many filaments at both 100-micron and 200-micron layer resolutions on FDM printers and found this one is the best.

PLA is a common type of biodegradable filament often derived from renewable resources, such as corn starch, tapioca roots, chips or starch, or sugarcane. PLA is available in hard or soft grade and can be extruded at a low nozzle temperature. PLA allows higher print speed, more accurate placement of material with proper cooling (it does not shrink as much) and also thinner build heights because of less resistance from the plastic coming out the nozzle, where abs even at high temps (252C) is still sticky and has high viscosity. PLA has a obvious feature that it’s translucent.

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Influence of 3D printed Lily light remains undimmed after 14 years

Oct 20, 2016 | By Benedict

In an interview with Dezeen, designer Janne Kyttanen looks back on the 3D printed Lily light, a flower-shaped lamp designed at Amsterdam’s Freedom of Creation studio back in 2002. The laser-sintered lamp was an early example of 3D printing being used to create desirable, functional objects.

In the early days of the 21st century, 3D printing was far from the public eye. Although some manufacturers had been using additive technology for decades, mainly as a prototyping tool, “3D printing” would not become part of the cultural zeitgeist until years later. With that in mind, it is easy to see why Janne Kytannen’s innovative Lily light shone brightly when it was unveiled just after the turn of the millennium.

The 3D printed Lily light, designed by Kyttanen in 2002, might not cause much of a stir if seen in a collection today, but rewind to Milan Design Week 2003, and the Finnish designer’s modest creation was sending ripples through the design world. Here was an example of 3D printing being used to create something permanent, both a stylish item for the home and a shining example for a million future 3D printing projects. 14 years after its creation, the influence of the 3D printed lamp remains undimmed. Why? The designer himself has a few ideas.

Made from Nylon 12, a very fine powder used for laser sintering, the Lily light represented a big challenge for Kytannen. Not only was it unusual to create luxury household objects using 3D printing, it was also incredibly expensive to do so. As such, the Finnish designer had to create an object that was small and used minimal materials, but that was still visually captivating. “My whole inspiration was to create something very small, but something that would give a big impact into a space,” Kytannen explained.

In order to reduce material usage and costs, Kytannen designed the 3D printed lamp with extremely fine “petals” which glow when the light is turned on. According to the designer, this internal illumination of the lamp’s 3D printed components fascinated attendees of Milan Design Week, propelling his laser-sintered creation into the spotlight. “When people saw the Lily for the first time, I felt that they were mesmerised by the 3D technology,” Kyttanen said. “But the public could also afford it.”

This combination of beauty and affordability made the Lily light, and many 3D printed household items designed in later years, particularly appealing. While the 3D printed Lily light is currently available in various versions (floor or table, various sizes, €391+) through Materialise, Kytannen initially envisaged makers downloading the digital files and printing the item at home. “My point was to create a commercially successful product and pave the way for things to come in 3D printing,” the designer said. “I wanted to create a future concept for when people could, one day, download 3D data in their living rooms and 3D print them.”

14 years after the creation of the Lily light, and Kytannen’s vision has more-or-less come true: there are several online platforms where people can download 3D printable furniture and other items, often for free. Looking back, Kytannen can be proud that his Lily light, a simple flower-shaped 3D printed lamp, helped to bring that vision to reality.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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The 3D printing pen is suitable for children over 6 years old and adult. Use by children must be under tutelage of adult.
To avoid clogging the filament feeder inside, please cut the ending tip portion of the filament where you stop, because the melted part need to be cut off so that you can smoothly insert it easily without any problem when you use it again.

Using Your 3D Pen:
Step 1:Connect the power adaptor to the back of the 3D pen and plug it into a power source. When the yellow LED turns on, the pen is in the preheat status.
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Discharging mode: hot melt extrusion molding accumulation
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Nozzle Diameter: 0.7mm
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1 x 3rd Generation 3D Printer Pen
1 x Power Adapter
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