When we hear the name Adidas, the brand tends to be associated with activewear, running shoes and anything that goes with sports. Especially when it comes to 3D printing, the sporting goods manufacturer has had a lot of ideas in the past, and improved the way our sports shoes are made. However, the group is now focusing on a completely different industry in cooperation with Carbon and its additive solutions:automotive. In this case, it’s the RX 500h F SPORT from Lexus, an automotive brand of Japanese automaker Toyota, in which Carbon, Adidas and its branch SEED (School of Experimental Education in Design) have collaborated and focused entirely themed from Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, using the additive manufacturing.

It is no coincidence that this film was chosen. Indeed, Adidas recently launched its “Wakanda Forever Collection” on the market. It includes shoes with a sporty look. In the film, the identity of the fictional African nation was dealt with and the vehicle design for Lexus was based on that. Lexus International saw a perfect match here: “The RX’s athletic performance makes it a perfect member of the ‘Wakanda Forever’ team,” said Michael Moore, general manager of Lexus International.

The steering wheel has also benefited from additive manufacturing (Image: Lexus)

How was additive manufacturing used on the Lexus RX 500h F SPORT?

Even though we already know how important additive manufacturing has become in the automotive industry, let’s take a look at its use in cars. luxury. The current version of the RX served as a template for the one designed by Adidas. All touch areas of the vehicle have been printed in 3D, such as the steering wheel cushion or the front and rear head restraints. Carbon used their energy-returning midsole material, which is also found in the Adidas 4D-FWD shoes. Additionally, the front head restraints received the Lexus logo; the rear central headrest incorporates the logo of the German brand. The interior of the additively manufactured car was seen as a challenge by the Adidas SEED students who undertook this project, as they completely redesigned the interior.

Yet everyone at Lexus International agrees that such challenges have added value for young designers: “Lexus attaches great importance to the promotion of future designers. We see Adidas SEED as a new standard, opening doors in design. It is a special time when young people have the opportunity to expand their creativity beyond their own understanding. Lexus believes in this story and is thrilled to be part of this process,” says Sabina Charfauros-Redmon, Chief Creative Officer at Lexus International. To ensure that students could be safely guided through the design process, several workshops were held, which covered automobile and Lexus design in detail, as well as general creative processes, colors and materials.

The adidas logo has also been inserted between the Lexus logo (Image: Lexus)

Outside the luxury car, the RX 500h F SPORT features movie-appropriate purple colorways, which are also reflected in the Adidas collection. Gold details, diamond patterns or letters from the fictional Wakandan alphabet can also be found on it. Even a word derived from the Wakandan alphabet “Vibe-Branium” is reflected in the unique name on the rear plate: Lexus RX 500h Vibe-Branium AWD DIRECT4.

Finally, Cheresse Thornhill-Goldson, Director of Education and Design at SEED, explains how important this collaboration is for students in particular:“Collaboration is one of our core values ​​at SEED. We believe innovation happens at the intersection of creativity, collaboration, diversity, inclusion and equality. An important aspect of our program is open source product development, where we work with experts from different industries to train our SEED designers and work with them to develop unique products. So working with Lexus, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Carbon, Calty and Annex to design the Lexus Vibe-Branium Direct4 RX 500h has been a very rewarding experience for our students. The end result is a powerful example of what can happen when we harness “collective genius” across disciplines. »

Headrest 3D printed with Carbon technology (Image: Lexus)

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*Cover photo credit: Lexus

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