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Industry Insights|3D Printing Prevents the Rampancy of Counterfeit Adidas Futurecraft 4D in Mainland China

Fake Adidas riots in China. Yet 3D printed mid-soles in Adidas Futurecraft 4D cracks down the counterfeit industry.
 
Fig.1:Adidas’s Futurecraft 4D
 
The Lucrative Counterfeit Business

To follow WTO standards, China starts attending to protect intellectual property rights. Piracy in China is still irritating global footwear giants, like Adidas and Nike. This results from the daunting costs of proof and law enforcement. The law is strict. Take the law in Hong Kong. The law states that anyone convicted of importing or exporting forged goods faces a fine of up to 64,000 USD and up to five years in jail. Yet run a
phoney-goods racket can be so lucrative that some people think it’s worth the risk. Fake Adidas Yeezy from Fujian, Guangdong Vietnam, pours into the mainland market and eats Adidas’s market share. Now Adidas Futurecraft4D with 3D printed mid-sole hinders the riot of phony shoes.and
 

Fig2. Yeezy store in Wenzhou using cutomized sports data


Fig3. Fake“Yeezy” in China
 
Futurecraft 4D and 3D Printing

Fig.4 Futurecraft4D’s mid sole using customized sports data

InMarch, 2018, Adidas released more than 100,000 Futurecraft4D sportswear priced at $300. Adidas’s extensive library of athlete running data provided a base for the design of the shoe. The shoe mid sole is a single component featuring engineered zones that addresses different needs of running. Designers and engineers fabricate exclusive resin with Adida's professional sports data. The shoe sole is also cutomizable. Customers can work out a short period on the treadmill. Adidas maps out his feet on a contour grid and collects pressure points and load mechanism of each foot. Engineers then used light-curing 3D printer to produce the elastic mid-sole right out of liquid resin.

The Hard Part to Imitate

The process of 3D printing the mid-soles makes it hard to copy or steal even the appearances of the shoes. Part of the manufacturing factory is located in Changshu, Jiangsu Province. Quoted lately from ZOL online in
baidu news feed, one insiders in Adidas's mid-sole manufacturer said to the media. They sell their technology only to Adidas. They haven’t sold their printers to other domestic enterprises, either. Even if there is an equipment leak, it’s hard to imitate the design. As the whole process of printing connects to the internet. The raw material is exclusive and only when printing would the specifications be downloaded from a cloud. And all printed models will upload to the cloud. Once there detects related footwear printing, the equipment will stop. This makes the mid-soles tech well-protected.
 
Fig5. Shoe Sole Injection Mold

Meanwhile, in the counterfeit footwear industry in China, rumor had it thatphoney futurecraft4D would come out at the end of 2018. There arephoney Futurecraft4D selling online, priced at 330RMB($46). Yet after receiving the package, we found that the mid-soles adopts injection molding and the middle part of it is solid, not hollow. The 3D printed lattice structure is hard to copy. It turns out to be a great solution for protecting the IP wealth of Adida’s brand premium by improving the threshold of technology.   

 3D printing has revolutionized
design industry as well as manufacturing industry. Now it provides another exceptional counterattack——preventing the riot of counterfeits.

Sources
:ZOL Baijiahao