adidas 4D

Meet the midsole that broke the mold. Since 2017, the adidas 4D has become an icon.

UNCONSTRAINED INNOVATION

“With Digital Light Synthesis, we venture beyond limitations of the past, unlocking a new era in design and manufacturing.”

About this Project

adidas has provided the world’s greatest athletes with top-performing, innovative products since its inception. In 2016 adidas came to Carbon to realize completely new paradigms in their designs and manufacturing that would allow them to once again raise the bar of performance.

Rising to the Challenge

Carbon’s material scientists developed an entirely new elastomeric material, EPU 41, that could live up to the demanding mechanical properties of a revolutionary running shoe midsole. Additionally, the development of cutting-edge additive processes and tools were critical for efficiently manufacturing the new unmoldable midsole at scale.

 

Learn About EPU 41

Shoes-Flying

The Result

A world-class 3D printed midsole designed by using two decades of high-speed motion capture and force data from nearly 4,000 runners. The Carbon DLS™ process allowed adidas designers to create one of the most advanced shoes with a multi-zone midsole created from a single print. The monolithic, lattice design comprises over 10,000 individual struts that enable the precise tuning of the midsole for performance––increased lattice density provides support, while decreased density creates cushioning, giving runners lasting comfort with responsive feedback.

HIGH-VOLUME PRODUCTION

Over 1MM 4D Midsoles Produced on Carbon’s L1 3D Printer.

2016

Development

Carbon DLS™ enabled adidas to rapidly iterate over 50 different lattices for the midsole before landing on the current design.

2017

Launch

Carbon developed a full print and post-processing method for the new 4D midsole, ensuring that the end result was the best combination material and print process for adidas’s design.

2021

Expansion

The Carbon DLS™ process enabled adidas to expand its product portfolio rapidly, responding to market demands and customer desires faster than ever before.

Project Details

PRINTER PLATFORM

Carbon L1

Material

Carbon EPU 41 Dual-Cure Elastomeric Polyurethane

Post-Processing

Automated, Solvent-Free Spinning and Vacuuming Followed by Dual-Cure

DLS Advantage

High-Performance, Unmoldable Geometries, Programmable Metamaterials

Get Started

Experience EPU 41

Get our sample parts kit to experience EPU 41 first-hand.

 

Get Parts

Carbon Design Engine™

Generate conformal lattices faster than ever before with Carbon Design Engine.

 

Learn More

3D as It’s Meant to Be