Voxel8 has come up with a multi-material addictive manufacturing solution that focuses on sports shoes and clothing. Instead of just the soles, Voxel8 designs the upper part of the shoe. The ActiveMix process allows 3D printed shoes to feature high performance and reactive polyurethanes. Voxel8 hopes to offer mass customization and at a lower cost. ActiveMix printers are able to change the composition of the material as it is patented. It can even allow full digital color control of the parts that are 3D printed. With usual methods, you have to change the material feedstock in order to change the properties of the parts. The technology has been integrated into a system called the ActiveLab Digital Fabrication System.
Although the system is currently focused on footwear and apparel, we could see them move to medical devices and wearables. With 3D printing, we can dramatically reduce time to market. We will also be able to manufacture shoes to larger customer bases because of reduced labor costs. 3D printed shoes bring the ability to print directly onto existing objects without adhesives. When it comes to wearable consumer products mass customization will be a huge benefit. It may take time to fully integrate 3D printing into production but there have been a lot of improvements and innovations over the years.
Original Article: https://www.3dnatives.com/en/voxel8-040320194/