Footprint 3D Target Custom Footwear through Simpleware & Additive Manufacturing

Posted on 18 August 2017 by Jessica James

 

Software and Additive Manufacturing solutions are enabling breakthroughs in custom footwear and accessories. Footprint 3D target some of the recurring challenges of the footwear industry, including ideal fit, the consumer purchasing experience, and the broader environmental impact of waste created from molding processes.

Footprint 3D use Simpleware's lattice generation tools and Additive Manufacturing to design customised shoes from 3D scans. The process involves taking 3D image data of a person's feet and creating uniquely contoured soles that allow for proper ergonomic support and promote a natural gait. The shoes are custom-made to order and benefit from input from podiatrists and foot care specialists.

Midsole and insole designs are generated using Simpleware lattice structures from original CAD files and 'boolean' a variety of solid surfaces to the lattice structure. Lattices are based on the original solid STL file, and are straightforward to generate for virtually testing out different designs based on unique foot and gait characteristics. For example, areas of the sole that need to be more or less flexible, such as the heel and arch areas, can be easily thickened or reducing using Simpleware's morphological 3D editing tools.

The resulting designs are used to manufacture parts using a variety of thermoplastic polyurethane powders for SLS as well as elastomeric resins for DLP/SLA printing systems. This approach allows for an infinitely variable range of manufacturing options and sizing without having to rely on a mold, reducing waste in the form of excess scrap material that usually comes from traditional molding process.

Tests and feedback so far demonstrate that the unique particle bonding of the TPU material, coupled with the accuracy of Simpleware's lattice generation tools, enables energy from each step of the wearer to be dispersed evenly and at a slower rate; this adds stability and reduces impact on the wearer over time. Moreover, time and money is saved with the additional option to remove soles from existing shoes to test new designs

Learn More

Simpleware are running a Webinar on September 7, 2017 with Matthew Flail, co-founder and COO of Footprint 3D. The webinar will go into this process in more detail and demonstrate the benefits of the workflow and its applications, and is aimed at anyone interested in 3D Printing, lattices, and custom products.

Register today for this free webinar.