Reebok announced a project today that it hopes will change how shoes are made with 3D-printing techniques. Its new Liquid Factory uses cutting edge technology and robotics to draw shoes in three dimensions, doing away with traditional means of production.
The project is being lead by Bill McInnis, head of the new Reebok Future team and a former NASA engineer.
"Footwear manufacturing hasn't dramatically changed over the last 30 years," said McInnis via press release. "Every shoe, from every brand is created using molds—an expensive, time-consuming process. With Liquid Factory, we wanted to fundamentally change the way that shoes are made, creating a new method to manufacture shoes without molds."
Reebok has already released a concept shoe from the factory, called the Liquid Speed, that uses a proprietary liquid material made for the brand by BASF. The sneakers are limited to just 300 pairs, individually numbered, and available now from Reebok and Finish Line for $190.
The Liquid Speed sneaker was assembled in the U.S., hinting at a possible future where some of Reebok's performance shoes are made domestically.
The Liquid Factory approach is similar to Adidas' Speed Factory, which has been the source of some of the brand's more exciting footwear as of late.