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How generative design helped make 3D printed trainers

09 March 2016

Under Armour wanted to design a lightweight, highly stable, and cushioning shoe to support athletes during the most intense workouts.

UA Architech pair (Credit: Autodesk)

The UA Innovation Team looked at many innovations and technologies for its new UA Architech, some being a combination of generative design and 3D printing. 

Autodesk software was critical to the team at Under Armour achieving some of the key goals for the shoe. Notably, Autodesk Within was used to generatively design the lattice midsole for a stable heel structure with the appropriate elements of cushioning for strength training.  Generative design is a pioneering technology central to the future of making things, where a computer algorithm creates structures based on desired criteria like durability, flexibility and weight. It results in complex, high-performing structures that human designers would never conceive of otherwise, and — as is the case with the UA Architech — requires 3D printing to fabricate. Autodesk Fusion 360 and 3ds Max software were also integral to the shoe’s concept development and refinement. 

The result: one of the first commercially available 3D printed performance trainer. 

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