The footwear brand ECCO Shoes has revealed their augmented footwear project that has the company 3D printing customized midsoles in silicon using German RepRap machines. The company has been presenting their project alongside the German RepRap at formnext, which is powered by TCT. They want to make the midsoles more commercially available. Because of scanning and 3D printing technology ECCO is able to provide consumers with personalized midsoles, which brings greater comfort and can monitor gait analysis to provide an even better product. The name of the project is Quant-U and has seen two years of research conducted at the Innovation Lab ECCO in the Netherlands. The I.L.E. collaborated with the Dassault Systemes’ FashionLab that specializes in 3D design and simulation in consumer goods and fashion. The designs are validated through FEA simulations that ensure the best functionality possible. This could really help with the future production of 3D printed shoes.
ECCO will pilot the commercialization of the project in February 2018 at its W21 experimental ECCO shoe store in Amsterdam. The company will offer select customers to have their feet scanned and midsoles customized on-site. One main goal is to reduce the print time down to one hour, from the two hours it currently takes. The fast production helps many companies, including 3DShoes.com, stay ahead of the game over other footwear. ECCO has had a long desire to be in the footwear industry for customization and feels like they are taking a big step to making their midsoles a reality with the Quant-U project. The Innovation Lab also hopes to adapt 3D printers to be suitable for the retail environments. With a compact 3D printer their midsoles can be made in more locations.
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