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Can high-performance sneakers be tailored with 3D printing?

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Can 3D printing change the way running shoes are designed? How can companies aspire to provide bespoke shoes crafted for the running style of each customer?

By combining biomechanics, data science, and engineering, the MIT Sports Lab is developing innovative running shoes that “have a much wider range of mechanical properties.” Instead of using traditional foam, the sneakers are fitted with lattice-structured midsoles that are 3D-printed, mathematically tailored for individual runners.

a 3D-printed mid-sole
Changing small sections of this lattice framework can provide optimal support and performance, “tuned” for each person’s needs. From MIT News:

The team’s new model grew out of talks with collaborators in the sneaker industry, where designers have started to 3D print shoes at commercial scale. These designs incorporate 3D-printed midsoles that resemble intricate scaffolds, the geometry of which can be tailored to give a certain bounce or stiffness in specific locations across the sole.”

lattice mid-sole

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