Nike Exec Sees A Future Where Shoppers Could 3D Print Their Own Sneakers At Home

Making your own footwear at home won’t have to include cardboard, duct tape and those slippers you refused to throw out soon enough: A top executive at Nike says he thinks customers will someday be able to 3D print their own customized sneakers at home (or in Nike stores, for those without 3D printers at home).

Nike’s Chief Operating Officer Nick Sprunk talked about the future of DIY shoes at a summit held by GeekWire recently.

“Yes, there could be a day where that happens,” he said after being asked the question about 3D printable sneakers by GeekWire co-founder Todd Bishop.

Theoretically, customers could customize a sneaker on Nike’s site, then purchase a file with instructions for the 3D printer. From there, you’d either print the shoes yourself or head to the Nike store with the file and have the staff their print them out. But just buying the file doesn’t mean you could then repeat the process forever and ever, and enjoy free shoes for eternity.

“Do I envision a future where [Nike] might still own the file, from an IP perspective — because it’s a Nike product; you can’t have just anybody make a Nike product — and you can manufacture that either in your home or we will do it for you at our store?” Sprunk added. “Oh yeah, that’s not that far away.”

The company has already turned to technology to change how it makes shoes, most notably with its Flyknit shoes: Flyknit allows shoemakers to feed a single file into a machine that then knits a shoe’s upper material, instead of multiple workers assembling a shoe based on a pack of technical specifications, color swatches and other materials.

Nike COO: You’ll soon be able to make shoes at your home with a 3D printer [GeekWire]

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