Friday, February 21, 2014

Foot Problems? 3D Printing Custom Shoes Coming Soon

A San Diego start-up called “Feetz” is working hard to solve the problem of sore feet, and even some leg or back issues, by putting the 3D printing technology to work printing shoes.  They have a system where people can take three pictures of each foot, from specific angles, and upload them to the Feetz system.  The company will then print off shoes that fit perfectly, thus providing for a much more comfortable fit.

In the future, the company would want to expand to also offer 3D printed shoes to everyone, whether or not they have foot problems.  The CEO of the company, Lucy Beard, said of the company, “So many people have feet problems because one foot is bigger than the other or the shoes just don’t fit their feet right.  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.”

She went on to say, “I want to solve that need and that pain for those people.  3D-printing shoes for them is really a simple solution that could solve a lot of other problems.”  Using a variety of materials, it will be possible for the company to create durable shoes that are comfortable to wear, and even look quite nice.

As the 3D printing technology advances, the company will likely be able to offer a much wider variety of looks to their shoes as well, which will attract many people who want unique looking shoes.  Some ideas that come to mind right away include sports teams that could have their shoes custom printed to all match their uniforms, while also providing the proper support and comfort that they need.  Fashion experts could also use the technology to print off great looking shoes that not only look amazing, but also feel great too.

Major companies like Nike and Adidas are already using 3D printing to create certain parts of their shoes, but building an entire shoe from the printer is a big step forward.  It opens up a lot of possibilities.  If Feetz is successful, this could bring about a major change in the way shoes are made in the future.

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