Getting new footwear could become significantly more convenient in the future thanks to 3D printing, as one Nike executive thinks consumers could manufacture their own running shoes.
Technological advancements have led to all sorts of progress and 3D printing is one of the areas that shows most potential. 3D printing has already evolved to offer amazing solutions in various fields, allowing for 3D printed prosthetics, 3D printed organs that help surgeons handle complicated operations, and more.
In the future, 3D printing could also benefit consumers by allowing them to manufacture various goods in their own homes - including the shoes they want to wear.
Speaking at the GeekWire Summit, Nike Chief Operational Officer (COO) Erik Sprunk discussed the concept of consumers 3D printing their own sneakers. Nike could allow people to create a computer file that would enable them to manufacture printable shoes at home, for instance.
More specifically, consumers could purchase a file rather than a pair of shoes from Nike's website. Thee file in question would contain the necessary data for a specific type of shoe, complete with the measurements you need and the design you want. Combining that file with an at-home 3D printer and the necessary materials for the shoe would allow consumers to manufacture their own Nike-branded footwear.
In other words, consumers wouldn't be able to create their own Nike shoes altogether, as they'd still need the file from Nike, but they'd be able to manufacture the shoes themselves.
"Do I envision a future where we might still own the file from an IP perspective - you can't just have anyone making a Nike product - and have it manufactured in your own home or we do it for you at our store? Yeah, that's not that far away," said Sprunk, as cited by GeekWire.
While Nike is constantly striving for innovation and pushing to employ the latest state-of-the-art fitness technologies, the company is also working on updating the way it makes its products. Updating the manufacturing and engineering processes involved in the creation of new footwear is an important aspect, and Nike wants to keep improving in order to further reduce waste during the production process, for instance.
3D printing Nike footwear may not be an actual option anytime soon, but it may be a neat solution sometime in the future.