3D Scanning for Custom Footwear Part 1
On-Demand Personalization is on the Rise
In today’s modern age, the new size is custom. With giant strides in technology like 3D printing and 3D scanning, what used to be cost-prohibitive customization is now possible. With the movement of e-commerce by consumers, it also brought about the ability to do away with off-the-shelf, one-size fits all purchasing. Consumers are looking not only at aesthetics and beauty in products but also quality, comfort and unique fit. This movement can be seen in the race for custom footwear; multiple large manufactures such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armor and Reebok are working on 3D printing custom shoes. New technologies such as CREAFORM 3D scanning and STRATASYS 3D printing are providing more options to designers in designing different styles with the ability to go from scan-to-print in a short, cost effective turnaround.
Understanding the future of customization starts with understanding the technology and there is no better place to start than at the foot of the problem. For many years the only requirements to find a fitting shoe were the length and the width of your foot. From there you would use these measurments to find a correlating size, stock shoe. But how well does that shoe actually fit? The soles of our feet are very complex surfaces that support the weight of our body at various stress points and differ from person to person. When these stress points are not properly supported the results could range from sore feet, hip, knee and back-pain to surgery. Which is referred to by the professionals as “shoe-icide”.
The contours created by the surfaces of your feet are very difficult to measure with traditional rulers and tape measures. Furthermore, how do you re-create a custom sole using said measurements? CREAFORM has developed a 3D scanner that is designed for human body scanning, it’s called the GoScan 50. The Goscan 50 can digitize the surface of your soles with a high accuracy and speed. It even captures color and texture for additional design choices. The workflow is very simple with a USB compatible scanner, it’s just a matter of point-and-shoot. Additionally, the software provided by CREAFORM allows the user to extract the necessary data in a mesh form that perfectly represents the complex geometry of a human sole. From there the user can export to a CAD software for further design on a custom shoe.
This doesn’t end here……..
This is only part 1 of the series: “3D Scanning for Custom Footwear”. In part 2 we will demonstrate the workflow of taking a 3D scanned sole and transforming it into a custom fit running shoe. So, check back periodically so you don’t miss it.
The engineer’s first problem in any design situation is to discover what the problem really is.
Computer Aided Technology, Inc