While many apparel, athletic, and athletic apparel companies have been investigating 3D printing as an alternative to their traditional manufacturing methods, one of the most invested has been Under Armour. The Baltimore company, celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, has been delivering some innovative 3D printed designs over the course of the past couple of years, including their recently developed Architech athletic shoe, featuring a 3D printed midsole.
While there hasn’t been much doubt as to Under Armour’s dedication to new technology, there certainly isn’t any now. Today, the company officially opened their new manufacturing and design innovation center, dubbed the UA Lighthouse, in South Baltimore. The 35,000-square-foot facility will provide the space and tools necessary for Under Armour’s designers and developers to create even more cutting-edge products for the athletic industry.
“As Under Armour celebrates 20 years in business, we are committed, more than ever, to driving global innovation and continuing to expand our Global Headquarters in our great hometown of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. The UA Lighthouse will serve as a beacon to make product better, faster, and more efficiently, ultimately solving real problems for athletes and making them better around the world,” said Kevin Plank, Founder and CEO of Under Armour.
Under Armour employees, as well as partners, will have access to a variety of 3D technology, including 3D body scanners for the design of custom footwear and apparel and 3D printers for prototyping. Numerous other fabrication tools and machinery are also available, and an apparel and footwear prototyping center will allow designers to test and fine-tune products and processes developed using experimental, non-traditional methods. Furthermore, the facility will provide the resources for apparel and footwear pilot lines, which will enable designers to assess how their concepts will perform in full-scale production.
Multiple organizations have joined with Under Armour as partners to drive innovation and product development, including:
“Under Armour’s approach to open innovation and collaboration can be seen in our strategic partnerships brought to life within the UA Lighthouse. We are excited about this game-changing opportunity and the endless possibilities created by bringing together our talented team and our world-class partners, to pioneer the future of design and manufacturing,” said Kevin Haley, President, Product and Innovation, Under Armour.
UA Lighthouse is intended to be the hub for Under Armour’s “Project Glory” initiative, a local-for-local strategy in which the company’s designs will be released to partner factories around the world to be manufactured locally. New products will be developed at home in Baltimore, but will facilitate local jobs at locations across the globe – an intriguing idea from one of the athletic industry’s largest corporations, and one that aligns nicely with the self-sufficient, local-production philosophy espoused by so many 3D printing enthusiasts. Discuss further in the Under Armour & 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.