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Global athletic brand New Balance launched the first high performance running shoe with a 3D printed midsole. Through an exclusive collaboration with 3D Systems and their newly developed elastomeric powder, DuraForm Flex TPU, New Balance has made significant advancements in the performance of printed parts for running shoes. The new midsoles leverage the benefits of 3D printing and breakthroughs in materials science to achieve an optimal balance of flexibility, strength, weight and durability.

The designs of the 3D printed midsole are based on underfoot pressure data from heel strikers with more cushioning elements in areas of higher average pressure. This data to design formula follows the path that New Balance designers used to create the award winning Fresh Foam collection. For midsole production, New Balance uses selective laser sintering (SLS), a process which converts new powder materials into solid cross-sections, layer by layer, using a laser. DuraForm Flex TPU powder gives the resulting parts a previously unavailable combination of strength and elasticity that is ideal for performance running shoes.

In 2013 New Balance was the first athletic brand to have a track athlete, middle distance runner Jack Bolas, compete with data-customized, 3D printed spike plates. Since then Team New Balance athletes have continued to compete in custom, printed spikes including US Olympic Athlete Kim Conley at the 2014 USATF Outdoor National Championships where she came in first in the 10,000m. Beyond Track & Field New Balance has also created customized soccer cleats and baseball spikes for its elite athletes.

New Balance soccer star Aaron Ramsey wore a bespoke boot with printed plates in the FA Cup Final on May 30, 2015. New Balance continues to expand data customization with elite athletes and expects more athletes to test out customized products in practice and games in the near future.

New Balance, headquartered in Boston is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the USA, which represents a limited portion of their US sales. Where the domestic value is at least 70%, they label their shoes Made in the USA. New Balance owns five factories in New England and one in Flimby, U.K. New Balance employs more than 5,000 associates around the globe.