3D printing in footwear to generate over US $4.2 billion in annual revenues in 2025
15 October 2020: The footwear business is an important illustration of the revenue potential of mass markets for AM. By 2028 end-use parts in the footwear sector will account for US $3.0 Billion, according to a report, “3D-Printed Footwear 2020-2030, an Analysis of the Market Potential of 3D Printing in the Footwear Industry”, by SmarTech Analysis. The report comes at a time when footwear, 3D printing has been making some serious headway, as numerous brands experiment with 3D printed orthotics and midsoles. projects AM in footwear to generate over US $4.2 billion in annual revenues in 2025.
While prototyping and tooling continue to be identified as key applications for AM in footwear, the ultimate goal of the industry is to use AM to automate footwear part production. The report also profiles the key manufacturers involved in the 3D-printed footwear revolution including: Carbon, voxeljet, HP, Voxel8, Kings3D, Formlabs, Stratasys, 3D Systems, EOS, Prodways, BASF, ECCO, German RepRap, Adidas, Nike, Reebok, New Balance, Under Armour and Timberland.
The report states that despite the considerable potential for 3D-printed footwear, there remain challenges. High volumes are possible in this business, but this fact also creates a need for automation in the “shoe factory of the future.” It is now possible to design optimized lattice structures for midsoles that can be effectively produced only by 3D printing. Now, production teams can create prototypes rapidly on-site for instant feedback, significantly streamlining the concept creation process. Additive manufacturing is transforming the overall design process for footwear.