Adidas’ 4D line has made some of the most significant advances in sneakers, but what if it didn’t just use 3D-printing for footwear?
The brand with three stripes has revealed a new pair of sunglasses made using the same technology behind its most innovative sneakers. With a flexible nylon construction in the same lattice structure we’re used to seeing on midsoles, as well as polycarbonate lenses, Adidas’ 3D CMPT weighs just 20 grams. The interweaving frames are treated with a rubber coating, and non-slip points have been added to the nose pads and arms to ensure the sunglasses stay on during exercise.
Adidas’ striking new sports shades will be extremely limited, with just 150 pairs going on sale later in August. And with how sought after the 4D sneakers were in their early days, expect a whole lot of competition for one of the rare pairs of sunnies.
How does Adidas’ 4D tech work? — Adidas does 3D-printing a little bit differently through a process called Digital Light Synthesis. A sequence of UV images are projected into a reservoir of resin, from which a platform begins to rise in the desired structure. Oxygen then sets the resin into a solid, not dissimilar to how concrete is formed.
This process has the advantage of being cheaper than other 3D-printing methods, and it also allows Adidas to develop sneakers more quickly than it could using traditional methods. When the 4D line was first introduced in 2017, production was still extremely limited. 4D sneakers have slowly become available in greater quantities, and you can now pick up a pair without turning to a resale market that saw the first model sell for thousands of dollars.
The 3D CMPT sunglasses won’t come cheap and will be quite difficult to come by even if you can make the splurge. Each pair will sell for $415 through Adidas’ website on August 23 as part of the brand’s “Creative Club Week.” Perhaps a few years from now 3D-printed sunglasses from Adidas will also become widely available, but this will be your chance to be an early adopter.