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Runners, meet the Zante Generate, the world’s first high performance running shoe with a full-length 3D printed midsole.
Proudly printed at our factory in Lawrence, Massachusetts, this midsole allows the shoes to be flexible, supportive and durable. This Friday, April 15th, we’ll release 44 pairs as a nod to our Owner & Chairman, Jim Davis, who purchased the company (44 years ago) on Patriot’s Day in 1972.
“New Balance is at the forefront of 3D printing and has been utilizing this exciting and innovative technology to customize product for our athletes for a number of years,” says New Balance President and CEO Robert DeMartini. “Our unique position as both a manufacturer and retailer allows us to bring the world’s first 3D printed running midsole to market. The Zante Generate demonstrates the strength of New Balance design and innovation and will allow consumers to own a piece of running technology history.”
Through an exclusive collaboration with 3D Systems, we utilized the company’s newly-developed laser sintering powder, DuraForm® TPU Elastomer to make significant advancements in the performance of printed parts for running shoes. For the Zante Generate midsole, we used selective laser sintering (SLS), a process which converts the new powder material into solid cross-sections, layer by layer, using a laser.
The new midsoles leverage the benefits of 3D printing and breakthroughs in available materials to achieve an optimal balance of flexibility, strength, weight and durability in an intricate honeycomb midsole structure.
Within this incredibly flexible midsole, hundreds of small, open cells provide cushioning and structure. The Zante Generate upper is taken from the Fresh Foam Zante v2, which features a bootie construction with an engineered mesh through the midfoot to allow for soft, supple support.
The Zante Generate is more than a pair of running shoes – it’s a testament to our relentless pursuit of innovation. #alwaysinbeta
Pairs will be available starting Friday, April 15th, at 9:00 a.m. EST., for $400 at our Experience Store at 583 Boylston Street in Boston.
VIP Access: Watch the Zante Generate Come to Life
We’ve got your backstage pass to the printing process of our Zante Generate, the world’s first performance running shoe with a 3D printed midsole. Below, we go through each step of the printing process to watch the Zante Generate come to life.
Material Preparation: thermoplastic powders are mixed with a set of additives to optimize their performance during and after printing
Data Preparation: midsoles files are prepared through a series of software platforms to create a virtual representation of the print job
Machine Preparation: materials are loaded and process parameters set to ensure the midsoles are strong enough to withstand a footwear application but retain flexibility for comfort.
Printing: midsoles are printed from a Thermoplastic powder by laser consolidation. Printing progresses layer by layer over many hours until the job is complete.
Post-processing: parts are pulled from a volume of powder and individual midsoles are put through a series of processes to remove remnant, nonexposed, build materials.
Assembly: just a few floors down from where the midsole is designed and printed, our manufacturing team proudly assembles the Zante Generate