A company named Cobbler Technologies decided they wanted to bring their 3D printer technology to the $250 billion shoe industry. Cobbler’s printer is unusual because it has the ability to apply layers of different materials while building the bottom of a shoe, without the printer having to be stopped to change materials. The company has 25 different material layers so the manufacturing process can happen faster. They are joined by Enefco, who makes plastic stabilizing inserts that are placed into the heel cup of the shoes.
The process works by making materials into a liquid which then collides with a high velocity gas. This collision produces tiny droplets that are then sprayed through nozzles in the printer into a 3D pattern. Having multiple nozzles gives the ability for multiple materials to be applied in the process. With this, shoes will be able to be produced even with the most complex of designs. An idea like this could help Cobbler join Nike, 3DShoes.com, Adidas, and other companies that are getting in the game. Cobbler will unveil their product as 3D printers keep moving into the footwear industry.
The printer is trademarked as using an Atomized Particle Deposition, or APD, to explain the way it was created. Cobbler has reached out to athletic shoe manufacturers to find a launch partner for their APD. They want to work with a manufacturer so they can address any problems that might arise with its production operation. This way the company will get the experience working out industry problems before they set up their own 3D printing production facilities. Faster production could really advance the growth potential of 3DShoes.
Original Article: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/04/19/bangor-startup-brings-3d-technology-to-shoemaking/