It was just a couple days ago that we reported on Nike’s 3D printed American Football cleat that’s specifically engineered to help professional athletes boost their 40-yard dash times. The significance of the cleat rests in the designers’ decision to use 3D printing as a final form of manufacturing (SLS). However, 3D printing is nothing new in the shoe development world, and has been used for prototyping concepts for cheap before they head off to be molded and patterned at a significantly higher cost. Today, sneaker magazine Sole Collector released some excellent photos that show off this 3D print component of the shoe prototyping process.

The Lebron X

Finished Product

“We gave [LeBron] some Swoosh pieces and let him tape it where he wanted it to be.”
-Leo Chang, Nike Basketball Design Director.








Regardless if you’re a fan or not of Lebron James, Nike, or basketball shoes, it’s hard to deny that these are some pretty impressive examples of the capabilities and application of a 3D printer in the design process.


Simon is a Brooklyn-based industrial designer and Managing Editor of EVD Media. When he finds the time to design, his focus is on helping startups develop branding and design solutions to realize their product design vision. In addition to his work at Nike and various other clients, he is the main reason anything gets done at EvD Media. He once wrestled an Alaskan alligator buzzard to the ground with his bare hands… to rescue Josh.