Having a custom fit shoe or sandal is an universal need. Many people across the world suffer from knee ailments due to uneven distribution of weight. But so far, there is no perfect solution (i.e. fast, reliable, high quality, cost effective) to this problem. But with the combination of 3D Scanning & 3D Printing, we can find perfect solution to this universal problem.
There are various innovative companies in the market trying to 3D Print custom fit shoes and sandals. A couple of months ago, we saw Wiivv break its own record for most funded 3D Printed product on Kickstrater with its 3D Printed custom fit sandals and now a new company, OLT Footcare is creating customized orthotics and now, with a new Kickstarter campaign, 3D Printed customized sandals.
OLT Footcare is a division of 3D printing and scanning company TDL Systems, dedicated to creating customized orthotics. OLT Footcare creates their sandals by 3D scanning customer’s feet and using the digital models to 3D Print a custom full-length midsole, which is then combined with a conventional outsole and sandal uppers. If a customer doesn’t have access to one of the company’s foot scanners, they will send you a foam box to make an impression of your feet. Once you make the impression, mail the foam box back to them and they will use the impression to get a perfectly accurate scan. Prescription orthotics can also be incorporated into the midsoles.
3D scanning takes about two seconds per scan, and accuracy is guaranteed to 0.15 mm. Once the digital model is created, with or without prescription modifications, it’s digitally fitted to the original scan to see if any further modifications are needed. The midsole is then 3D printed in a flexible material, with an internal lattice structure to control flexibility and firmness. The digital design of the midsole is then used to laser cut the outsole, and the full shoe is assembled. The digital data from each customer’s feet is also saved for future orders.
“Our 3D printed custom sandals are more than a pair of sandals,” the company states. “It takes personalization to a totally new dimension and represents a brand new footwear category of mass customization and on-demand manufactured via 3D printing. Imagine walking into a shoe store, getting both feet scanned in minutes, watching how the shoes are going to fit your foot’s 3D contour on a computer screen, making modifications, placing an order and few hours later getting a pair of 3D printed custom shoes. The future of on-demand shoe manufacturing with mass customization via 3D printing is now available for the first time.”
OLT is running a Kickstarter campaign for the idea to raise $30,000 by July 29 with some very interesting rewards. According to OLT Footcare, their custom sandals improve balance, distribute body weight more evenly, and are overall more comfortable than conventional footwear. Even if a customer has a discrepancy between right and left leg length, the condition can be corrected by 3D printing one midsole more thickly than the other for perfect balance.