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Sportswear manufacturer Asics and 3D printing solutions provider LuxCreo have announced the launch of their newest 3D printed footwear offering, the second generation ACTIBREEZE HYBRID SANDAL.
Described as a “performance sandal,” this new product is designed for use by runners during rest and recovery periods. Produced using LuxCreo’s additive manufacturing technology, the sandal incorporates a 3D printed elastic footbed, parametrically designed in an extra-thick lattice structure. This is said to offer advanced breathability and comfort, while keeping the sandal lightweight.
This new sandal is the latest footwear product to be produced as part of Asics’ and LuxCreo’s ongoing partnership, the first generation ACTIBREEZE 3D printed sandal having been released last year.
“Our collaboration with Asics is a testament to the forward-thinking ethos that drives our companies. By bringing a consumer hybrid 3D printed footwear product to market, we are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and forging a partnership that thrives on innovation and excellence,” commented Michael Strohecker, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer at LuxCreo. “Together, we are pushing possibilities in footwear.”
Priced at $80, the new ACTIBREEZE HYBRID SANDAL is available now from ASICS retail, online stores, and specialist running outlets around the world.
ASICS’ and LuxCreo’s 3D printed sandals
Launched last year, the first generation of the ACTIBREEZE 3D SANDAL marked Asics’ commercial 3D printed footwear debut, and the second time the firm had collaborated with LuxCreo. The two companies started their relationship back in 2021 with the limited production of customized 3D printed flip-flops. These collaborations met with notable success, with previous ACTIBREEZE product runs often selling out within minutes of launch.
The new and updated 3D printed sandals leverage a “best-in-class” 3D printed elastomer from LuxCreo, which complies with AFIRM RSL and offers excellent energy return and resilience. Indeed, the elastomer material has been tested for up to 1 million cycles at 2000 newtons, or four times the average human body weight. This testing saw less than 3% change in shape and performance of the sandal.
What’s more, the development of the sandal was bolstered by extensive testing from the Asics Institute of Sport Science (ISS). This organization has conducted over 100,000 biomechanical experiments over 30 years, scanning over a million individuals’ feet in the process.
Sandal production is facilitated by LuxCreo’s Smart Factory Production Service, which offers global availability of 200 3D printers. This service is said to accelerate production and offer flexibility by using 3D printing files to produce high or low-volume, high-mix with low-volume, customized, or just-in-time products. The smart factory offers batch-to-batch consistency, and at a high yield across numerous 3D printers.
“Identifying the perfect collaborator for this venture was a challenging task. We sought a partner who embraced an innovative approach to 3D printed production and possessed superior hardware and material capabilities,” commented Chris Ekman, Sr. Manager of Global Product Line Footwear at ASICS. “We needed a team that could scale up production, had a wealth of experience, and was brimming with talent. LuxCreo has proven to be that partner.”
3D printed footwear
3D printed footwear is a growing trend within the consumer goods industry. Earlier this year UAE-based 3D printed footwear startup ELASTIUM introduced its first fully 3D printed sneakers made from 100% recyclable foam. Incorporating a novel lattice-structured low-density thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) foam material, the shoes are manufactured using ELASTIUM’s proprietary granulate extrusion 3D printing technology.
The company plans to introduce additional releases and models throughout 2023, offering an expanding range of options to customers. “At ELASTIUM, we are redefining footwear production making it rapid, on-demand, localized, and sustainable,” commented Robert Karklinsh, Founder, and CEO of Elastium.
Elsewhere, Spanish sportswear startup ATHOS last year announced the launch of a collection of 3D printed climbing shoes. Said to be the first of their kind in the world, these shoes were developed in partnership with online 3D printing bureau Sculpteo, and global technology company HP. Key to this offering is customization, with the shoes 3D printed to meet the exact specifications of the customers feet, which are 3D scanned before the 3D printing process begins.
“Mass customization allows ergonomics that seemed inaccessible in climbing, and ATHOS custom-made slipper fits the foot perfectly providing comfort when climbing,” stated Sculptio CEO Alexandre D’Orsetti.
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The new ASICS ACTIBREEZE HYBRID Sandal. Image via LuxCreo.