The Nike Vapor Laser Talon is a new Football clete which is manufactured, in part, using 3D printing. It weighs 5.6 oz. The prepared press on the shoe states:
“Nike’s new 3D printed plate is contoured to allow football athletes to maintain their drive position longer and more efficiently, helping them accelerate faster through the critical first 10 yards of the 40.”
“”SLS technology has revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football – and gives Nike the ability to create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes,” said Shane Kohatsu, Director of Nike Footwear Innovation.””
3D printing has been used for prototypes for several years. This is said to be the first shoe in which 3D printing using Selective Laser Sintering technology (SLS) as part of the standard manufacturing process.
Don’t look to be printing this out at home any time soon. It will be manufactured at the Nike production facilities. And it is not going to be individually customized at this time.
There has been some discussion about the name, with one blogger saying that it seemed cool enough to come from Spike TV. For me it rang a bell: shoes, wear the shoes, run in the shoes, play foot ball in the shoes. Vapor. Hmm, vapor – vapor and shoes. Vapor wear. Vaporware.
Vaporware is a term applied to software products that are announced and somehow never see the light of day. Wikipedia sums it up for those of you not familiar with the term Vaporware.
I don’t believe I’ve seen Nike fail to deliver on an announced shoe, so this new Vapor Wear is likely to be worn and not be like vaporware.
If you are ready to try your hand at 3D design but can’t afford a printer, I came across Shapeways, which offers tutorials and the ability to get started.