- Going beyond traditional design is an advantage of 3D printing
- Even Adidas is embracing the technology, which has been favoured by smaller brands
- And the German company’s new cycling sunglasses, show how radical you can go, with contemporary 3D printing tech
Cycling’s obsession with lightweight everything, speaks to the solution of 3D printing.
Although 3D printed frames and wheels have not yet scaled into popularity, some smaller components are ideally suited to the technology.
Most 3D printed prototypes and production parts are by small independent brands, but even larger companies are now experimenting with it.
German apparel giant, Adidas, is the latest to show what is possible with 3D printing.
Better known for its shoes and active garments, Adidas is returning to the cycling market. It all started with shoes, as one would expect from the iconic tri-stripe brand, but the newest cycling product from Adidas, are radically lightweight optics.
The Adidas 3D CMPT sunglasses are constructed from a flexible nylon compound. Precision 3D printing has allowed industrial designers at Adidas to shape a striking mesh structure, which uses the bare minimum of material, to hold the sunglasses in place.
Although the arms are fixed, which mean you can’t fold and stow these sunglasses in your cycling jersey’s pocket, they are terrifically light.
The quoted production mass is a mere 20g and its mesh frame has some interesting advantages.
Few things are more annoying than optical fogging, on that early morning ride. With its open mesh design, the 3D CMPT sunglasses have terrific natural airflow. And that will help to keep the lenses clear of fogging.
If you are worried that the nylon mesh frame might be uncomfortable to wear, there are rubber nose and arm pads, to keep these Adidas sunglasses in place and prevent skin irritation.
Futuristic and slightly impractical, due to the non-foldable arms, these Adidas 3D CMPT sunglasses are also very rare.
Total global production and market allocation will be limited to only 150 units, priced at R6000 each.