In a collaboration between Adidas and 3D printing company WASP, a unique shoe box was created for Lionel Messi to mark his eighth Ballon d’Or win. This project represents a significant advance in the application of 3D printing technologies and highlights the possibilities of this technique in the production of customized products.
The challenge for WASP was to design a shoe box in the shape of a dodecahedron, similar to a soccer, which would contain a pair of Adidas shoes specially made for Messi. Given the complex shape, 3D printing proved to be the ideal solution for production. The WASP 4070 ZX, a professional 3D printer designed to process technical materials such as nylon-carbon, was used for this project.
The shoe box was printed in Italy at WASP’s headquarters and then delivered to the Adidas team. After the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, the customized gift was delivered directly to Lionel Messi. The model of the box was divided into four parts: the upper and lower halves, connected by a hinged joint, a fitting platform for the shoes and a small cover for the upper part.
The printing process itself, which lasted over 200 hours non-stop, demonstrates the performance of the WASP 4070 ZX. Particularly noteworthy are the all-metal double gear extruders, which offer twice the gripping force and three times the strength of conventional extruders. In addition, the patented Vacuum Active Control (VAC) system ensured the complete absence of micro-movements during the printing process and facilitated the extraction of the prints.
The completion of the shoe box required precise assembly of the individual parts, with each piece having to fit together perfectly. The combination of innovative design and advanced printing technology highlights the potential of 3D printing in the production of unique, bespoke products and opens up new avenues for personalized sports equipment.
This project illustrates how 3D printing technologies are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in product development while offering the opportunity to fulfill individual wishes and requirements on a new level.