The revolution of 3D printing with a case of success

The revolution of 3D printing with a case of success

The embodiment of a shoe, and we add of a shoe sole, requires mastering techniques and materials by imposing the availability of machinery and equipment specifications. It is a complex production in which the operator footwear is located in the midst of a new revolution.

The revolution

The revolution the introduction and adoption of 3D printing is still in its infancy but is already perceives a future scenario with its implications. The most important aspect of the introduction of the technology, and that the entire subject shoe you can create a single step without the intermediary of other actors, as well as important and even disruptive this news.

Historical evolution

The 3D printing in the footwear industry is not exactly a novelty. Already twenty years ago, they were studying the applications especially in the context of rapid prototyping. There was already a considerable interest and a strong curiosity, thinking about this technique primarily as a way to get in faster times the sample of a new shoe. A second area of interest was for the production of physical mock-up for the soles, which are essential to initiate the process of the mold, by replacing the manual process. Today the technical aspects are improved considerably: are perfected the techniques and have enriched the number of materials that can be printed.

Slowness and customizing

the limit with which you need to do the accounts and the slowness of the instruments, whose production rate is not at the moment not even comparable to the industrial. It is thus clear so that we can move on to a use of these technologies in the production phase, we need to increase the print speed: inadequate production in volumes, the process seems sensible for those custom productions. And here the scope in which today the 3D printing find application: the shoe on measurement. The shoe is made of a single copy: only one batch of production, for which he has not even makes sense to talk of pair but a single shoe. This technology is at the center of a process that allows you to go to the specific equipment or take the whole sector. In this segment application group are already working on the largest brand of shoe, in which you compete the designer and in which already there are interesting developments in medicine.

The challenge of the materials

The challenge in this case and be able to understand if the material is printable and if the substitutes have the same physical characteristics than those traditionally used. Today the attention of the major producers of 3D printers and focus all on materials, so that each one ends up developing their own. Next to the producers of printers also move the large brand of chemistry, the traditional suppliers of plastic materials that are working to get to adapt their materials to print 3D.

A new concept of shoe, starting from the sole 

The challenge is to arrive at a new concept of shoe in which the functions of the rigid parts and soft are no longer tied to the physical elements and therefore to the materials, but become elements of design, it aims to get the best from the materials present working on the design. If the shoe must have as an element characterizing the sole, the fund, the heel are obtained with additive technique, even daring new geometries, especially those too complex to be obtained with molding techniques traditional.


While remaining in a concept of traditional shoe, therefore on the idea of assembled product, it is important to work on the components, thinking of the 3D printing as a possible alternative in the construction of the insoles of assembly, of the soles and heels.

stampa 3d malaspinaUNITED NUDE: the example of a brand that has embraced the 3D printing

The company has decided to push the limit the shoe design thanks to the use of new materials and technologies of 3D printing advanced. A selected group of 5 architects and designers of international renown and was called to confront and explore the potential of 3D printing applied to women footwear on high heel. The project called Re-Inventing Shoes was born with the purpose of assessing the possibilities related to this new technology, which is currently spreading at a dizzying pace, and that in this case has seen the use of a quality 3D printing (Selective Laser Sintering) and materials such as durable nylon and a brand new form of soft rubber. The special feature is to combine in a single 3D printing is hard parts that soft parts. Each model will be produced in a limited series of 50 pairs.

With this article do not want to exclude is the idea that Malaspina is thinking to start a production prototype soles for shoes by the use of 3D printing and is that this tool could be in the possession of the known suolificio of Monte Urano, to learn more the council and continue always to follow us!


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