American footwear brand New Balance has teamed up with Massachusetts design studio Nervous System to launch a high performance running shoe with a 3D-printed midsole. New balance has followed Adidas in developing 3D-printed sole that could be customized to fit the runner’s individual pace.
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, they use 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.
all images and video courtesy of New Balance