3D printing is becoming a worldwide trend across different industries, from fashion to aerospace.
The advantages of this innovative technology open up new possibilities and creative solutions that push these industries to level up and move forward.
Another industrial sector where the use of this technology is significantly growing is the shoe or footwear industry.
Shoes are one of the most intricate products to manufacture that requires a specialized field. When you use the traditional method, the whole process can be time-consuming and will cost a lot of money.
But with the help of additive manufacturing, project heads and business owners can save thousands of dollars from the development stage to the finished product.
What is 3D Printing
3D printing or additive manufacturing is the process of creating a solid, three-dimensional object from a file. Creating a 3D printed object uses an additive process where successive layers of materials are developed until the final product is finished.
Benefits and Applications to Shoe Industry
The 3D print technology transforms ideas into concepts with more speed and precision than any other traditional manufacturing process.
This capability allows designers and product development officers to bring their ideas from their computers to life in just a short time.
Here are the different applications and benefits of 3D print technology to product design and the footwear industry.
Fast and Cost-Effective
Time and cost are the two biggest challenges in producing and manufacturing footwear. Creating the sole unit moulds for each shoe costs thousands of dollars and has long lead times.
But with 3D print, moulds are no longer needed because the shoe components can be created directly from a design file, allowing shoemakers to bring new shoes to the market three times faster than the traditional production.
Explores New and Innovative Designs
Exploring new and innovative designs was made possible by 3D print technology. Footwear brands can explore and implement unique design features for their shoes and brands.
Another advantage of using this technology is improvement in shoe performance, which can be impossible to injection mould. Designers can also improve and optimize the cushioning properties of the shoe, creating quality and higher-performing footwear.
Customization is another significant benefit of this technology to make the shoe perfectly fit the customers’ feet.
To accomplish this feat, companies employ 3D scanning to capture the measurement of their customer’s feet.
After scanning, the shoe designer generates the design of the shoe components to meet the personal preference of the customer. And finally, the new designs were sent directly to a 3D printer for direct manufacturing,
3D print technology opens new doors and opportunities to the footwear industry by combining new materials and breakthrough processes to create innovative and customized footwear products.
Footwear 3D printing has so much potential to offer. And it will continue to evolve in the coming years as the demands for a personalized experience increase.