Adidas is not only planning to introduce by the end of this year 100,000 pairs of shoes with plastic midsoles made via a new 3-D technology created by Silicon Valley startup Carbon; it’s also making moves to ramp up that production to millions in the coming years, said James Carnes, vice president of strategy creation for Adidas's namesake brand.
“We have a really aggressive plan to scale this,” Carnes said in an interview. “We are scaling a production. The plan will put us as the (world’s) biggest producer of 3-D printed products.”
For instance, by Q3 alone, Adidas will have access to enough printers from Carbon to make one million pairs of 3-D printed sneakers, Joseph DeSimone, CEO and cofounder of Carbon, told me.
Adidas declined to say when and where it will drop the rest of the 100,000 pairs this year after its Futurecraft 4D — the first commercial release of those new 3-D shoes, at $300 a pop in select stores in New York — sold out in January. As an indicator of potential demand, some of those shoes have commanded a healthy premium and been resold for several times their original price at sneaker auction site StockX.
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