NEW YORK (CBS Seattle) – When the Seahawks and Broncos take the field Sunday, players on both sides will be wearing cleats designed with the help of 3-D printing.

Nike engineers wanted to create a cleat that helps players get a little extra dig in the turf, saving runners a potential half a second…time that could mean the difference between a touchdown and a tackle.

Normally the process can take years, since pieces must be specially created to be tested.

But for this latest design, Nike turned to 3-D printing….and that has accelerated development.

“With 3D printing you can have an idea, sketch it out, 3D model it, and by the next day you come to the office and you have a part,” Nike Director of Innovation Shane Kohatsu told CBS News.

The Zero Step design is intended to give athletes an edge, by reducing the fraction of an inch the foot slips when they start running.

After printing out many designs, the engineers settled on a cleat shape based on the business end of a shovel.

Once settling on the design, the cleat plate served as the prototype for the Super Bowl-ready shoe, the Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Cleat.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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