Standardization of products has become the norm when it comes to mass production. Products come in limited sizes to achieve the lowest costs since customization with traditional methods for each consumer is almost impossible. Thankfully with 3D printing, we are seeing new possibilities and business opportunities. Mass production used to be complex, expensive, and impractical to do with traditional methods. Digital technology, or 3D printing, gives full control to designers and opens a door for fully customizable consumer products to become a reality. Footwear is a business that involves a lot of manual labor and craftsmanship. Companies bring out hundreds or thousands of designs a year, and a single one can include hundreds of color and size combinations.
Modern consumers demand custom products that can be ordered anywhere and delivered quickly. Having 3D printing enter footwear production brought new possibilities in customization to satisfy demands. The range of customization with 3D printing can account for every facet of athletic performance, right down to spike plates and heel design. A recent collaboration between New Balance and Formlabs shows the future of advanced footwear manufacturing. The two companies developed a new 3D printable material, Rebound Resin, which is designed for maximum versatility. By using a resilient lattice structure, 3D printed insoles can deliver a livelier, spring-like cushioning than traditional foam. 3D printing will bring the future of customization. We will continue to see it in clothing, footwear, prosthetics, earbuds, and even razors you shave with.
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