Patents by Inventor Todd W. Miller

Todd W. Miller has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20240190064
    Abstract: Methods are described herein for printing a three-dimensional structural component onto a base. For example, a method can include receiving a set of predetermined thicknesses for the three-dimensional structural component, instructing a printing device to print a set of layers of the three-dimensional structural component onto the base, and printing the three-dimensional structural component onto the base using the set of predetermined thicknesses to form a printed set of layers. The printed set of layers can include an exposed surface comprising a tall region, an intermediate region, and a short region. A difference in height between the tall region of the exposed surface and the short region of the exposed surface can be greater than a separation distance between the base and a printhead assembly of the printing device. The intermediate region of the exposed surface can have a smoothly sloped geometry.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 21, 2024
    Publication date: June 13, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20240164470
    Abstract: A system can include one or more image sensors, a processor system, one or more output devices, and one or more computer-readable storage media. The output devices can include a printing device configured to apply a graphic on an article. The one or more computer-readable storage media storing computer-executable instructions that when executed by the processing system, cause the system to perform a method of processing an article. The instructions can include instructions to receive an image of the article from the one or more image sensors, instructions to determine a location of one or more fiducials in the image of the article, instructions to determine a print location on the article based on the location of the one or more fiducials in the image of the article, and instructions to send a signal to the printing device to print the graphic on the article at the print location.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 31, 2024
    Publication date: May 23, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Collier, Amie Evans, Laurel Manville, Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20240115006
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an adjustable element. The adjustable element includes a bladder that defines an interior void. A compressible component that is disposed within the interior void and is operable between an expanded state and a contracted state. The adjustable element also includes a lock strip including a first end anchored at a first location within the bladder and a second end disposed at an opposite end of the lock strip than the first end. A lock receives the lock strip and is operable between a locked state restricting movement of the lock strip relative to the bladder and an unlocked state permitting movement of the lock strip relative to the bladder.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 10, 2023
    Publication date: April 11, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Nicholas R. Long, Todd W. Miller, Matthew D. Nordstrom, Richard Kristian Hansen
  • Patent number: 11938672
    Abstract: Methods are described for creating a correspondence between percentages of a spot color and print material thicknesses. For example, a method can include printing a set of printed regions on a substrate, wherein each printed region is printed according to a different percentage of a selected spot color. The method can further comprise measuring the thickness of each printed region. The method can further comprise comparing the thickness of each printed region with a target thickness for the printed region. The target thickness for the printed region can be determined according to the percentage of the selected spot color used for printing the printed region. The method can further comprise, for each target thickness, determining an adjusted spot color percentage required to print a layer of structural print material having the target thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 6, 2023
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2024
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Patent number: 11925237
    Abstract: An article of footwear can include a sole structure, an upper, and a printed layer. The upper can be coupled to the sole structure. The printed layer can be disposed on the upper and include a plurality of printed materials each having a different hardness than an adjacent printed material. The plurality of printed materials can be arranged on the upper such that a stiffness of the upper is gradated from a toe portion of the upper to a heel portion of the upper, and a stiffness of the heel portion is greater than a stiffness of the toe portion.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 2020
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2024
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan R. Larson, Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20240057720
    Abstract: An article of apparel can include a layer disposed on the article of apparel, where the layer includes a plurality of materials each having a different hardness than an adjacent material. The plurality of materials is arranged on the article of apparel such that a stiffness of the article of apparel is gradated along a length of the article of apparel from a first portion to a second portion of the article of apparel. A stiffness of the second portion is greater than a stiffness of the first portion and the layer has a continuous and even gradation that extends along the entire length of the article of apparel.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 1, 2023
    Publication date: February 22, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Ryan R. Larson, Todd W. Miller
  • Patent number: 11903446
    Abstract: A method for printing on an article can include positioning an article and a fiducial within a field of view of an image sensor. The method can also include generating an image of the article and the fiducial, using the fiducial to determine a print location on the article, and printing a graphic on the article at the print location. A method for printing on an article additionally or alternatively can include transforming a graphic using a shape model to produce a transformed graphic and printing the transformed graphic on the article. A method for printing on an article additionally or alternatively can include retrieving a shape model corresponding to a reference article, obtaining a configuration file corresponding to the article, transforming a graphic based on the shape model and the configuration file to produce a transformed graphic, and printing the transformed graphic on the article.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 2, 2022
    Date of Patent: February 20, 2024
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Michael D. Collier, Amie Evans, Laurel Manville, Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20240049831
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for color printing onto nonwhite substrates and articles. For example, an article of apparel is provided that includes multiple layers of ink with a combination of a white ink and at least one color ink, and each layer having a ratio of white ink to color ink, and the ratios of white ink to color ink are different.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2023
    Publication date: February 15, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20240034051
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for printing on an article are disclosed. An embodiment of a method may include the generation of a virtual mask that can designate areas for printing and/or designate areas to exclude from printing. A method may include utilization of the virtual mask during either 2D or 3D printing such that a print design is printed in areas designated for printing by the virtual mask.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 11, 2023
    Publication date: February 1, 2024
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Patent number: 11832680
    Abstract: Methods and systems are provided for color printing onto nonwhite substrates and articles. For example, an article of apparel is provided that includes multiple layers of ink with a combination of a white ink and at least one color ink, and each layer having a ratio of white ink to color ink, wherein the ratio is the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 14, 2017
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2023
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20230363495
    Abstract: A cushioning structure includes an externally-reinforced bladder, the bladder having a first polymeric sheet and a second polymeric sheet, where each polymeric sheet includes an internal surface and an opposite external surface. A first reinforcing layer is in contact with the external surface of the first polymeric sheet, where the first reinforcing layer has a greater modulus than the first polymeric sheet. A second reinforcing layer is in contact with the external surface of the second polymeric sheet, where the second reinforcing layer has a greater modulus than the second polymeric sheet. The bladder includes an internal volume and a peripheral flange surrounding the internal volume, and the reinforcing layers are only secured to the polymeric sheets at the peripheral flange.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2023
    Publication date: November 16, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary M. Elder, Laura E. Flores Sandoval, Todd W. Miller, Lee D. Peyton
  • Publication number: 20230363494
    Abstract: A sole structure for an article of footwear includes a fluid filled bladder that is formed from a plurality of coextensive, stacked polymeric sheets. An anti-weld material is disposed between two of the polymeric sheets within a central region of the sheets, the anti-weld material operative to inhibit a first polymeric sheet from being able to thermally fuse with a second polymeric sheet wherever the anti-weld material is present. The first polymeric sheet and the second polymeric sheet are fused together in a peripheral region that surrounds the central region, the peripheral region forming a peripheral flange. At least one of the first polymeric sheet and second polymeric sheet includes a plurality of integrated reinforcing fibers that are operative to increase a modulus of elasticity of the sheet in a direction parallel to the reinforcing fibers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 10, 2023
    Publication date: November 16, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Zachary M. Elder, Laura E. Flores Sandoval, Todd W. Miller, Lee D. Peyton
  • Patent number: 11813839
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for printing on an article are disclosed. An embodiment of a method may include the generation of a virtual mask that can designate areas for printing and/or designate areas to exclude from printing. A method may include utilization of the virtual mask during either 2D or 3D printing such that a print design is printed in areas designated for printing by the virtual mask.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 1, 2020
    Date of Patent: November 14, 2023
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20230346074
    Abstract: An article of footwear includes an upper having a chamber, a sole structure including a recess forming a cavity, and a pump device disposed within the cavity, in fluid communication with the chamber, and operable to move the upper from a relaxed state to a constricted state by selectively evacuating fluid from the chamber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2023
    Publication date: November 2, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Jennifer L. Bishop, Timothy P. Hopkins, Nicholas R. Long, Todd W. Miller, Nadia M. Panian, Aaron K. Seid
  • Publication number: 20230202094
    Abstract: Methods are described for creating a correspondence between percentages of a spot color and print material thicknesses. For example, a method can include printing a set of printed regions on a substrate, wherein each printed region is printed according to a different percentage of a selected spot color. The method can further comprise measuring the thickness of each printed region. The method can further comprise comparing the thickness of each printed region with a target thickness for the printed region. The target thickness for the printed region can be determined according to the percentage of the selected spot color used for printing the printed region. The method can further comprise, for each target thickness, determining an adjusted spot color percentage required to print a layer of structural print material having the target thickness.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 6, 2023
    Publication date: June 29, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20230189907
    Abstract: A locking structure for an article includes a bladder having a first barrier element attached to a second barrier element to define a chamber including an interior void and a plurality of locking elements disposed within the interior void and each attached to at least one of the first barrier element and the second barrier element, each of the locking elements including an interface surface operable to selectively engage an interface surface of another one of the locking elements.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 19, 2022
    Publication date: June 22, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Jennifer L. Bishop, Timothy P. Hopkins, Nicholas R. Long, Todd W. Miller, Nadia M. Panian, Aaron K. Seid
  • Publication number: 20230150206
    Abstract: A method and system for printing 3D structures using 2D monochromatic images (for example, greyscale images) is provided. The method can include instructing a printing device to print a 2D monochromatic image using print material in a reservoir known to contain a structural print material to create a three-dimensional structure. The method can further include instructing the printing device to print a 2D color image using color print material in a reservoir known to contain color print material, thereby forming an inner or an outer color layer of the three-dimensional structure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 19, 2023
    Publication date: May 18, 2023
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Patent number: 11618206
    Abstract: Methods are described for printing a three-dimensional structural component onto a base. For example, a method of printing is provided, including receiving a set of predetermined thicknesses for the three-dimensional structural component. The set of predetermined thicknesses has a first thickness and a second thickness. The first thickness is greater than the second thickness. The method further includes instructing a printing device to print a single layer for the three-dimensional structural component using the set of predetermined thicknesses. The method further includes printing a first portion of the single layer onto the base so that the first portion has the first thickness. The method further includes printing a second portion of the single layer onto the base so that the second portion has the second thickness.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 19, 2020
    Date of Patent: April 4, 2023
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Patent number: 11584084
    Abstract: A method and system for printing 3D structures using 2D monochromatic images (for example, greyscale images) is provided. The method can include instructing a printing device to print a 2D monochromatic image using print material in a reservoir known to contain a structural print material. Greater amounts of print material are printed in locations corresponding to relatively darker regions of the 2D monochromatic image.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 2019
    Date of Patent: February 21, 2023
    Assignee: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventor: Todd W. Miller
  • Publication number: 20220330657
    Abstract: An adjustment element for an article of footwear includes a bladder having a barrier layer defining an interior void and a compressible component disposed within the interior void and including a lattice structure defining a plurality of reliefs formed in the lattice structure, the compressible component operable between an expanded state when the interior void includes a first pressure and a contracted state when the interior void includes a second pressure.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2022
    Publication date: October 20, 2022
    Applicant: NIKE, Inc.
    Inventors: Jennifer L. Bishop, Timothy P. Hopkins, Nicholas R. Long, Todd W. Miller, Nadia M. Panian, Aaron K. Seid