ELASTIUM-1, the World’s First Fully 3D Printed Foam Shoe

The advent of footwear made using additive manufacturing is relatively new. Though the concept of 3D printing first entered the scene in the late 1970’s, it was only incorporated into the footwear industry three decades later in 2014, with adidas’s Futurecraft 3D printed midsoles. Reebok has been a leader in 3D printing, and Nike, Puma, New Balance, and other footwear giants have also embraced the technology. ELASTIUM from the United Arab Emirates is the latest addition to the rapidly growing market for 3D printed footwear. Its new foam sneakers are set to be a surprise to the footwear industry. Robert Karklinsh is the founder of ELASTIUM, a startup based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that aims to disrupt this $500 billion market by offering 3D printed shoes made from 100% recyclable materials.

ELASTIUM is a 3D printed footwear startup that uses advanced foams and lattice structures to create durable, comfortable and personalized sneakers. ELASTIUM’s low-density TPE foams are made using a proprietary granulate-extrusion 3D-printing technology. The sneakers are soft, comfortable and cushioned with the same resilience as high-performance shoes from brands such as Nike and Adidas.

Shoes made from proprietary fused granulate fabric (FGF), available in 13 colors for $250 per pair

ELASTIUM used a proprietary FGF foam 3D-printing technology that uses industry-standard materials as granules to reduce material costs. ELASTIUM is unique in its cost-effectiveness and can print foams of different densities.

The sneakers are made with a thermoplastic high-performance foam that is soft, lightweight, machine washable, and resistant. ELASTIUM, unlike other 3D-printed footwear manufacturers who rely on unfoamed basic materials, combines high quality TPU foams and lattice structure to create durable and comfortable sneakers that can worn with or with out socks. The company also embraces AI-inspired designs. The ELASTIUM-1 model features a monomaterial design which was generated by AI, and refined in 3D by a designer of footwear.

3D Printing: A Step Towards It

The traditional shoe manufacturing process is capital-intensive and slow. It’s also unsustainable. The fact is that 22 of the 23 billion pairs produced every year end up on landfills where they decompose over hundreds of years. ELASTIUM redefines footwear production. The company’s 3D printing technology enables rapid, on-demand, localized manufacturing, making it both sustainable and efficient. ELASTIUM also aims to democratize footwear by offering a platform that allows individual creators and brand owners to create footwear as easily as publishing an App on the App Store.

This approach to manufacturing is both sustainable and on demand, removing the need for traditional processes of footwear production such as mold-making, sewing, glueing and storage. This approach not only lowers costs but also reduces carbon dioxide emissions. ELASTIUM sneakers can also be recycled into new pairs because they are made of recyclable TPU foam. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are another unique aspect of the launch. ELASTIUM-1 shoes will be sold in limited editions and as NFTs. This gives the owner the option to reorder the sneakers even after they have sold out. This innovative digital ownership concept allows NFT holders to virtually become the owner of the design. They are able to trade and transfer their rights to make the digital asset physical. The original source can be found HERE.

What do you think of the world’s first fully 3D printed foam shoe? Let us know in a comment below or on our LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter pages! Don’t forget to sign up for our free weekly Newsletter here, the latest 3D printing news straight to your inbox! You can also find all our videos on our YouTube channel.

*All photos courtesy of ELASTIUM