Everything from custom tools to incredible shapes to personalized prosthetic limbs can be manufactured with 3-D printing, including 3-D sports footwear! With the advent of 3-D printing, cleats can be customizable—not just for different positions, but for each individual player with a scan of the athlete’s feet and an analysis of their movements and the requirements of the position they play. For example, a defensive lineman may need to be able to ‘lock’ their feet in position, while a wide receiver might favor the ability to pivot.
Athletes in Major League Baseball, the National Football League Combine, and even the Olympic games have used 3-D printed shoes. In addition to helping athletes perform better, 3-D printed footwear is more environmentally sustainable on a large scale. Due to their one-piece construction, there is much less waste material produced in the process of making each shoe. Millions of pounds of wasted materials are discarded when cutting multiple pieces to stitch together in traditional shoes, while 3-D printed athletic shoes eliminate such waste.
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