What if you could not only create a unique color combination and texture for your ID’s but also different uppers and soles?  According to THENEXTWEB Nike is trying to make that a reality with a recent patent filed.

“The technology presents libraries of different parts of the shoes such as uppers, soles, etc. and their characteristics such as material used and color. Once a user selects different parts and characteristics, the invention passes this information to a knitting machine to start the manufacturing process. During manufacturing, the physical layout and operation of knitting machine are displayed to the user so that the user can easily perceive the relationship between the availability of material, the physical limitations of knitting machine used to manufacture footwear upper, and the limitations on design choices in order to maintain the structural integrity of upper.”

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Ultimately, this brings the consumer closer than ever to the design process from inception to finished product and provides for a small  glimpse into the near future.  You see, Nike was granted an important patent for 3D Printing a shoe late last year, a patent that may directly impact some companies future financials.  At the GeekWire Summit last year Nike’s chief operating officer, Erick Sprunk was quoted as saying “that consumers will one day be able to buy a shoe design file from Nike and 3D print the shoe themselves.” We’re getting their folks.