Nike’s Latest Football Cleat Incorporates 3D-Printed Carbon V-Plate

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FA14_AT_NFB_Vapor_Ult_TD_651338-700_Profile_PR_largeNike announced that it was releasing the Nike Vapor Ultimate Cleat Tuesday. The new cleat combines Nike Flyknit and Carbon V-plate technologies to create a super football cleat. An integral part of the Nike Vapor Ultimate is its Carbon V-plate. Nike introduced the Carbon V-plate with the Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite. It allows for multi-directional acceleration, an important for those playing the game of football.

According to Nike, the studs on the Nike Vapor Ultimate are designed for zero-slip traction. Their pattern allows for “optimal ignition off the back foot, hitting the precision cuts to avoid a tackle, and the explosive propulsion required to make a critical catch.” The plate also features a tri-star traction system that allows for more confident movement overall.

The Carbon V-plate is the first plate from Nike’s 3D printing and testing facility. In designing the cleat plate, 3D printing was crucial, as it allowed Nike engineers to create shapes and designs that they couldn’t produce using traditional manufacturing processes. It also allowed for the rapid creation of prototypes.FA14_AT_NFB_Vapor_Ult_TD_651338_Detail_02_PR_large

“3-D printing revolutionized the way we design cleat plates – even beyond football,” said Ken Link, Nike Football Cleated Design Director. “The process gives Nike the ability to accelerate innovation and create solutions that were not possible within the constraints of traditional manufacturing processes.”

While Carbon V-plate technology sounds interesting on its own, it’s when it is combined with the Nike Flyknit technology, that the cleat becomes truly revolutionary. Nike Flyknit is a glove-like, one-piece upper that enmeshes the foot to provide a more responsive fit, that is strong and durable. Nike Flyknit debuted with the Nike Flyknit Racer in 2012. It was used most recently on the KOBE 9 Elite, Nike Magista and Nike Mercurial Superfly.

“We’ve created a cleat that can withstand the forces generated by today’s athletes on the football field,” said Link. “Flywire and Nike Flyknit combine to create a second-skin, sock-like fit that adapts to each individual player’s foot as well as to his style of play. Our most innovative upper combines with our most revolutionary, proven football plate technology to help athletes perform at the highest level.”

The Nike Vapor Ultimate is available now for pre-sale at Nike.com for $250.  Have you pre-ordered this cleat?  What do you think of Nike’s continued use of 3D printing within their products?  Let us know in the 3D printed Nike cleat forum thread on 3DPB.com.

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