Finding a pair of shoes to fit your feet perfectly
has been a challenge since the dawn of time. Thanks to 3D
printing, the task has become way more manageable. This new shoe
manufacturing technique is beneficial to consumers as well as the
footwear industry. What makes 3D printed shoes so enticing for
consumers is that the shoes are tailored for each person’s unique feet.
The new method is helpful to the footwear industry in several ways.
One of which is the way that the new technology can be used by footwear
designers during the sample making process of developing their
Rather than try on tons of shoes in standard sizes,
consumers can take a few moments to have photograph taken of their feet
in various angles. Taking photographs of the feet from several
angles will allow the computer to create an accurate 3D model of the
person’s feet. In addition to the size & shape of the customers foot,
some programs will also utilize information about the person’s height,
weights, and a few other data points. After inputting all
the relevant data, the software and printer can create a personalized
pair of shoes.
Few people have feet that are exactly identical to
another person. So why would we think that shoe making can use old
cookie cutter processes. In addition to not matching up to other
people, it is very possible that your own left foot does not match up to
your own right foot. Finding shoes that fit both feet perfectly is
more rare then you may think.
Another challenging aspect of traditional shoe
manufacturing is the sizing system. Generally speaking, the
current shoe sizing system is limited to half-integer measurements (6, 6
1/2, 7, 7 1/2, 8 etc.). Additionally, the measurement is
only taking into account the length of someone’s feet. Finding shoes for
wide or thick feet is difficult. 3D printing shoes help solves these
Note: some shoe designers and stores sell out of
the box shoes in more sizes than described above. They have
variety of lengths and widths which give consumers more choices than in
the past. Thanks to the internet, consumers are most definitely
finding a greater selection of out of the box shoe size choices than in
Learn more about
3D Printing in the Fashion Industry in our fashion industry terms
You may want to view the
adidas 3D running shoe news article on our blog.
3D printed clothing manufacturers.
shoe factories around the world.
What is 3D printing and how does it work? 3D
printing or additive manufacturing is a process of making
three-dimensional solid objects from a digital file. The creation of a
3D-printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive
process, an object is created by laying down successive layers of
material until the entire object is created. Each of these layers can be
seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
It starts with making a virtual design of the object that is to be
created. This virtual design is made in a CAD (Computer Aided Design)
file using a 3D-modeling program (for the creation of a totally new
object) or with the use of a 3D scanner (to copy an existing object). A
3D scanner makes a 3D digital copy of an object.
We hope this helps you better understand manufacturing shoes with 3D
You may also want to learn more about
women's shoes and men's shoes here
in our terms section.