Is 3D printed shoes a new shopping reality?
What happened if every one of us could design and print our own footwear? Will normal shoe shopping go to the past? We’ve already mentioned how 3d printing technologies could be used in footwear industry and today we are going to tell you a little bit more about it.
Feetz, a new start-up which is based in San Diego, is working to make possible to purchase 3D printed shoes based on customers’ specifications.
It potentially will be working this way:
- Three pictures (from different angles) of each foot should be snapped and sent to Feetz
- Pictures are processed by special software and after that based on the results new shoes could be 3D printed and sent to a happy customer
- The entire process approximately should take about 7 days
Lucy Beard, the founder and CEO of Feetz, says that shoe manufacturing is a perfect fit for 3d printing technologies. A main point is that feet are unique and shoes 3D printing allows extreme customization.
“So many people have feet problems because one foot is bigger than the other or the shoes just don’t fit their feet right,” Beard said. “But if you print a shoe just for that foot, it’s going to be so comfortable, you’re not going to want to take it off.”
Beard also mentioned that having a possibility to 3d print shoes would be a huge relief for those who have orthopedic problems because customizing shoes could benefit them the most, initially.
“I want to solve that need and that pain for those people,” she said. “3D-printing shoes for them are really a simple solution that could solve a lot of their problems.”
3D printing is being used in many different industries and the footwear industry is also one of them. But there are still some limitations that thwart progress of the industry, for example 3d printing materials.
Beard said that she expects her company to start taking first orders by the end of this year, but due to 3D materials limitations shoes will be limited to a rubber-like substance. She also said that hopefully in the next two years more suitable materials will appear and it will help Feetz to offer more shoe designs.