In April 2018, Adidas opened its second fully automated Speed Factory in the world. Located in Atlanta, USA, the plant covers an area of about 6874 square meters and employs only about 150 employees. Its first speed plant was built in Ansbach, Germany, in 2015, and its first product line was launched in October 2017. Adidas aims to bring the total annual output of the two factories to 1 million pairs by 2020.
In fact, as early as 2013, Nike developed a 3D print sneaker called Vapor Laser Talon. In April 2018, Nike launched a new Zoom Vaporfly Elite sneaker, using FlyPrint upper, and for the first time applied 3D printing fabric technology to functional sneakers.
For sports brands, 3D printing is not only a product label, but also a reconstruction of production mode. According to Nike’s public data, Flyprint’s overall design takes 16 times faster than previous production methods. James Carnes, Vice President of Adidas Brand Strategy, said that the new 3D technology could allow Adidas to make products locally and reduce transportation time, while significantly reducing costs, because we do not need to make a complete set of molds.