New Balance is teaming up with 3D Systems to launch of a high-performance running shoe with a 3D-printed midsole.
New Balance started their midsole research process in 2012, but recently made significant advancements in performance with a collaboration with 3D Systems. Working together, the companies have developed the SLS material DuraForm Flex TPU, an elastometric powder that brings a unique balance of strength, durability and flexibility. The shoes will be released in Boston in April 2016 and later at select New Balance retail locations worldwide.
The 3-D printing process allows the manufacturer to refine exactly how the structure is constructed, creating organic geometries through the bottom-up process of building layer-by-layer.
New Balance’s midsole innovation builds on the success of its previous 3D-printed components, including 3D-printed spike plates for track athletes and spikes for baseball.
“This project represents an unprecedented technical collaboration in footwear”, said Sean Murphy, New Balance senior manager of innovation and engineering on the brand’s website. “To deliver this level of performance with a 3D-printed component, we paired experts in running and biomechanics with leaders in plastics engineering, material development and generative design. These are the types of collaborations that will drive footwear design and manufacturing in the future,” he added.