3D Printed Shoe Startup Hilo Raises $3 Million in Funding


3D Printed Shoe Startup Hilo Raises $3 Million in Funding

Hilos, a shoe startup that specializes in 3D printed footwear, has been making headlines lately. Based in Portland, Oregon, the company is known for its sustainable approach to 3D printed shoe using HP’s Multi Jet Fusion technology. Recently, the footwear company announced that it has raised a whopping $3 million in an investment round that included several top Nike executives.

Among them was Eric Sprunk, Nike’s former Chief Operating Officer, who has been keeping a close eye on the company’s progress. Sprunk was joined by Greg Bui, Nike’s former Vice President of Global Footwear Sourcing and Manufacturing, who personally worked with the Hilos team on specific projects. The investment round also included Better Ventures, Builders VC, and XRC Labs.

For Hilos, the investment represents a major milestone and a high-level endorsement of their innovative 3D printing process. The company plans to use the funding to further develop their technology and expand their reach, bringing sustainable, 3D printed footwear to a wider audience.


Advantages of 3D printed shoe

3D printed shoe has several advantages over traditional footwear manufacturing. Here are three key benefits:

1.Environmental Friendliness and Sustainability:

3D printed shoes, such as those made by Hilos, use a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) that is derived from 80 percent recycled material for the sole, while the uppers are made from leather or knit material. This ensures that the shoe-making process has a lesser impact on the environment. After the shoes have served their purpose, they can be recycled 100 percent, making 3D printed shoes sustainable. Also, the traditional shoe-making process produces a huge amount of waste, but 3D printing eliminates the need for excess inventory and significantly reduces resource usage.


3D printed shoes allow for a level of customization that is impossible with traditional shoe manufacturing. Since they are created through 3D printing, they can be designed specifically to fit the wearer’s unique foot shape. This is ideal for those who struggle to find shoes that fit comfortably, or who have different-sized feet.

3.Performance Improvement:

3D printing allows for the creation of shoes with complex lattice structures and flexibility that can improve athletic performance. For instance, Adidas created the 4DFWD design, which uses 3D printing to achieve a flexible lattice structure that helps to enhance the athletes’ performance during running. 3D printed shoe can certainly provide a competitive advantage over traditional footwear.




3D printed shoes market

The use of 3D printing in the footwear industry is a rapidly growing trend. According to a report by SmarTech Analysis titled “3D-Printed Footwear 2020-2030, an Analysis of the Market Potential of 3D Printing in the Footwear Industry,” the 3D printed footwear market is predicted to generate $4.2 billion in revenues by 2025. This projection appears to be on track, as evidenced by the current state of the industry.

Previously, the primary application of 3D printing in footwear was for insoles. However, there has been a shift in focus towards producing entire sneakers. Adidas has made significant strides in this regard with its 4DFWD line, and we are now seeing a proliferation of similar products from smaller designers. Along with Adidas and Hilos, startups like FCTRY LAb, founded by the former head of the Yeezy-Adidas Innovation Lab, have raised over $6 million in funding for their 3D printed footwear designs. Another notable shoe startup is Zellerfeld, which 3D printed shoes for the rapper Kanye West and has raised over $15 million thus far. West has been a proponent of 3D printed shoe, which has led to increased exposure and popularity of the technology.

The market for fully automated luxury consumer goods has been gaining traction, and 3D printed footwear is poised to take off in this regard. In addition to being highly customizable, 3D printing also has the potential to reduce production costs and minimize waste. As the technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see further advancements in the industry, potentially leading to a paradigm shift in the way shoes are designed and manufactured.

To capitalize on this upward trend, many companies are investing significantly in research and development to stay ahead of the curve. The adoption of 3D printing in the footwear industry is a clear example of how technology can bring about disruptive change and transform traditional models of production. As consumers seek out more personalized and sustainable products, it is likely that the demand for 3D printed footwear will continue to grow. With ambitious projections for the future, it will be interesting to see how the market develops in the coming years.

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Shoe Startup Hilo’s Dream

Hilos has recently raised $5 million in their latest funding round. This brings their total amount of funding to $5 million, which they will use to continue scaling their operations. Presently, they’re using one HP machine to produce soles for approximately 500 pairs of shoes a month. However, with the additional funding, they plan to access more printers to scale up their 3D printed shoe production even more. Although they have already begun to work with some established brands, they are not able to reveal their identities at this time.

Interestingly, the CEO of Hilos, Dave Berrisford, has brought in Don Sprunk, a former Chief Operating Officer at Nike with over 27 years of experience. During his tenure, Sprunk helped drive the digital transformation of Nike, and he’s confident that Hilos can revolutionize footwear manufacturing. Sprunk has said that Hilos has the potential to lead an innovative revolution in the footwear manufacturing sector.

The footwear industry is ripe for disruption, and Hilos believes they’re well positioned to be the driving force behind the industry’s transformation. Their unique and environmentally friendly 3D knitting process has the potential to change the way shoes are manufactured, and with Don Sprunk on board, they have the expertise to push this vision forward. While we don’t yet know which established brands they are working with, the prospects for this new shoe startup advancement in the industry are exciting.





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