Nike has just introduced “Flyprint”, its new, and first, 3D-printed textile upper for performance footwear.
Flyprint is essentially a TPU filament melted and applied in layers. However, the geometry achieved by the layers is the key, explained int he video below.
Using athlete data such as the information provided by runner Eliud Kipchonge, the company is able to determine the composition of the textiles and tailor it to their needs.
The end result is a high-performance shoe upper that can be customised quite rapidly for specific regions of the foot and for individual runner’s tastes.
The Zoom Vaporfly Elite Flyprint is specifically for Kipchonge and promises to be 10.77 grams lighter than his previous shoes as well as more resistant to water absorption.
Apart from the runner specific benefits, Flyprint touts an overall lighter weight and being more breathable than previous textiles. It also helps eliminate frictional resistance that comes with conventional fabric because of the fused nature of 3D printing.
Kipchonge will be using hthese shoes in a London marathon on 22nd April 2018 where consumers will be able to see it in action.
If you want to get a hold of a limited run Flyprint shoe for yourself though, you’ll have to hop on a plane to London and purchase it through the Nike App during the marathon weekend.
Nike’s Flyprint tech will most probably be used elsewhere too. All that’s left is to ask is when will it be available to the masses globally?