Global athletic leader New Balance announced today they will be launching the first high performance running shoe with a 3D printed midsole.
Through an exclusive collaboration with 3D Systems and their newly developed elastomeric powder, DuraForm® Flex TPU, New Balance has made significant advancements in the performance of printed parts for running shoes. The new midsoles leverage the benefits of 3D printing and breakthroughs in materials science to achieve an optimal balance of flexibility, strength, weight and durability. This limited edition, state-of-the-art running shoe will launch first in Boston in April 2016 and then in select New Balance retail locations around the globe. The shoes will also be on display and in use by employees in the 3D Systems booth at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
The latest designs of the 3D printed midsole are based on underfoot pressure data from heel strikers with more cushioning elements in areas of higher average pressure. This data to design formula follows the path that New Balance designers used to create the award winning Fresh Foam collection. For midsole production, New Balance uses selective laser sintering (SLS), a process which converts new powder materials into solid cross-sections, layer by layer, using a laser. DuraForm® Flex TPU powder gives the resulting parts a previously unavailable combination of strength and elasticity that is ideal for performance running shoes.
“In 2013 we said this was the future of footwear manufacturing and today we are proud to bring the future to consumers with a fully 3D printed midsole,” says New Balance President and CEO Robert DeMartini. “With 3D printing we are able to pursue performance customization at a whole new level. The New Balance Innovation Team is showcasing the latest in performance running and these advancements signify an important step forward to becoming one of the world’s top athletic brands.”
The New Balance 3D printed running shoe will first be seen at the Consumer Electronics Show in January before releasing at select New Balance retail stores in April 2016.