Production process improves speed to market

With companies like Adidas using 3D printing to more effectively create and launch new sneakers to the market, Nike is positioning itself as a strong competitor with its newest innovation. Last week, the company announced the first successful use of 3D printing to make a textile upper that they're calling Flyprint. According to Quartz, before that sneaker brands had been printing sneaker midsoles only.

The Flyprint uppers are produced through solid deposit modeling (SDM), a process in which a TPU filament is unwound from a coil, melted and laid down in layers. But it's more than that. According to Nike, this method “allows designers to translate athlete data into new textile geometries. In this, it advances Nike’s efforts in digitally enabled textile development and adds to a legacy of proprietary modification (or hacking) of machines.” This means that Flyprint can adapt and be made to fit unique athletes or functions.

The footwear manufacturing company maintains that this new textile is its best one yet. It is lighter and more breathable, and it allows for for the highest-fidelity design with the greatest athlete benefit in the shortest amount of time. A press release says about the speed to the market:

In terms of design pace, the advantage of Flyprint method in traditional textiles is two-fold: Specific lines of the material can be adjusted locally while preserving the global construction, and rapid iteration means testing and revision cycle times are trimmed significantly. In short, Flyprint allows for the highest-fidelity design with the greatest athlete benefit in the shortest time.

Flyprint

With companies like Adidas using 3D printing to more effectively create and launch new sneakers to the market, Nike is positioning itself as a strong competitor with its newest innovation. Last week, the company announced the first successful use of 3D printing to make a textile upper that they're calling Flyprint. According to Quartz, before that sneaker brands had been printing sneaker midsoles only.

The Flyprint uppers are produced through solid deposit modeling (SDM), a process in which a TPU filament is unwound from a coil, melted and laid down in layers. But it's more than that. According to Nike, this method “allows designers to translate athlete data into new textile geometries. In this, it advances Nike’s efforts in digitally enabled textile development and adds to a legacy of proprietary modification (or hacking) of machines.” This means that Flyprint can adapt and be made to fit unique athletes or functions.