Under Armour Scales 3D-Printing Efforts For Footwear
Under Armour announced a partnership this week with EOS, a supplier of industrial 3D printing services, to ramp up the sportswear company’s efforts to bring 3D-printed sneakers to market.
EOS will provide Under Armour, which recently announced its first connected running shoe, with advanced laser sintering technology, an additive manufacturing technique in which a laser builds objects using powdered materials.
“This partnership is set to achieve Under Armour’s goal to industrialize and scale 3D printing of performance footwear,” Glynn Fletcher, President of EOS North America, said in a statement. “True additive m
anufacturing has come to Under Armour; no other athletic brand can make this statement.”
In exchange for using EOS to print powdered-based parts for its footwear, Under Armour will help EOS develop new polymer-based materials and laser sintering techniques to enhance its 3D printing platform.
Upon announcing the partnership, Under Armour showcased UA ArchiTech Futurist footwear (pictured below) that illustrates the kinds of products the two companies are aiming to produce together.
This partnership adds to a slew of efforts Under Armour has taken in recent years to add technology to its existing line of traditional apparel, accessories and footwear.
While 3D printing enables the company to more cost-effectively scale the manufacturing side of its business, Under Armour has also announced a line of direct-to-consumer connected fitness products that assist users during workouts.
Connected fitness is still a tiny portion of Under Armour’s overall business by revenue, but its quick pace of growth (up 16 percent last quarter compared with an 8 percent decline for apparel) signals a new area of focus for the company centered on using technology to enhance its products and manufacturing process.
EOS is the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers. Formed in 1989, the independent company is a pioneer and innovator for comprehensive solutions in additive manufacturing. Its product portfolio of EOS systems, materials, and process parameters gives customers crucial competitive advantages in terms of product quality and the long-term economic sustainability of their manufacturing processes. Furthermore customers benefit from deep technical expertise in global service, applications engineering and consultancy.
About Under Armour
Under Armour, Inc., headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland is a leading innovator, marketer and distributor of branded performance athletic apparel, footwear and accessories. Designed to make all athletes better, the brand’s innovative products are sold worldwide to consumers with active lifestyles. The company’s Connected Fitness™ platform powers the world’s largest digitally connected health and fitness community. For further information, please visit www.uabiz.com.