No longer is 3-D printing a far-out futuristic idea, but something that has come leaps and bounds over the last decade. From car parts and smartphone accessories to medical equipment and even artificial organs, 3-D printing has endless opportunities and is even saving people’s lives.
While shoe manufacturers have been using 3-D printing for a few years now, Nike has recently jumped on the trend with the news that at-home, 3-D printed sneakers could be a reality sooner than we think.
Kanye West, designer of his own Yeezy sneakers, recently expressed concerns that at-home 3-D printing would mean people could make fake sneakers. This issue of intellectual property is something that Nike COO Eric Sprunk touched on at last weekend’s GeekWire Summit when he was posed with the question of 3-D printing.
“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?” Sprunk said. “Yeah, that’s not far away.”
3-D printing is just a small step up from normal printing on paper, but instead involves printing layers of a material like resin until they build up and form an object. Whether it will mean more accessible amazing sneakers or an influx of knockoffs is yet to be seen.