Reebok Introduces Additive Manufacturing Technology
Reebok’s newest shoes incorporate an additive manufacturing process known as “Liquid Factory.” Using techniques similar to traditional 3D printing techniques, Reebok is employing an approach called 3D Drawing, which extrudes liquid polymers on a flat surface. These polymers, developed by BASF, are formed into the shoe’s sole and attach to the sides of the shoe. The benefits include greater feel transmitted through the sole to the wearer, and eliminating the use of molds to form the parts.
Bill McInnis, Head of Future at Reebok explains: “With this new process, we were able to program robots to create the entire shoe outsole, without molds, by drawing in layers with a high-energy liquid material to create the first ever energy-return outsole, which performs dramatically better than a typical rubber outsole.”