Nike revolutionises boot design with 3D printing debut
Nike has unveiled its first football boot incorporating a 3D printed plate in what it claims is an industry first.
The plate of the cleat in the Nike Vapor Laser Talon has been crafted using selective laser sintering technology (SLS) - a manufacturing technique using high-powered lasers to fuse small particles of materials into a 3-dimensional shape.
Through proprietary material selection, Nike was able to prototype a fully functional plate and traction system within a fraction of the traditional timeframe and at a fraction of the weight.
The SLS process allows for the engineering and creation of shapes not possible with traditional manufacturing processes, as well as the ability to make design updates within hours instead of months, accelerating the innovation process.
Nike Footwear Innovation director Shane Kohatsu said that the technology has revolutionised the way the company designs cleat plates.
"It gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes," he said.