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Will we soon be buying 3D printed shoes ?

Posted on Saturday, 13 September, 2014 | Comment icon 5 comments

Would you purchase 3D printed shoes ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Jack Purcell
Difficulties finding a pair of new shoes that fit perfectly could soon be a thing of the past.
Shopping for shoes can be a problematic task at the best of times. Sometimes a new pair needs to be "broken in" before it feels right and some shoes can never feel quite comfortable enough.

To help combat these issues shoe shops could soon start taking advantage of 3D printing technology to create special tailor-made pairs of shoes designed to fit perfectly every time. The process would be so quick that it will even be possible for the customer to wait in the shop while the shoes are being made.
The first step would involve having several photographs taken of a customer's feet to provide the computer with their precise measurements. These would then be processed by the 3D printer and used to create a pair of shoes matching the provided specifications and style requirements.

The system is not only beneficial to the customer but would also save shoe shops having to store large numbers of shoes in different sizes and reduces the risk of stock going to waste.

Whether 3D printed shoes will be fashionable enough for most people however remains to be seen.

Source: Wired | Comments (5)

Tags: Shoes, 3D Printing

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Leonardo on 12 September, 2014, 21:25
Can I be the first to call 'gimmick' on this? 'Breaking in' shoes isn't a matter of getting them made to measure, it is a matter of wearing them and having them mould to the foot under the pressure of walking around in them.
Comment icon #2 Posted by bubblykiss on 12 September, 2014, 21:34
This seems like a worthwhile usage of a technology that could be employed to manufacture cheap artificial limbs for impoverished war victims.
Comment icon #3 Posted by GreenmansGod on 13 September, 2014, 12:10
Shoes have become my nightmare. If they can make it affordable I am on board. Normal people have no clue what it is like to have foot pain so bad you barely walk or wear shoes. My feet are hypersensitive due to MS, which means shoes feel like the are crushing my feet. I found pair a while back that weren't bad and I bought 2 pair. They wore out this year and so I tried to find them again and they had quit making them. So now I am back to hunting for something that won't hurt my feet and I can afford to buy. I hate shoe shopping.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Eldorado on 14 September, 2014, 14:55
No. 'We' will not be buying any shoes until winkle-pickers and square-shoes cease to be fashionable or are banned. Walking around like an extra from Kismet is not for me.
Comment icon #5 Posted by shrooma on 14 September, 2014, 16:13
QUOTE- The system is not only beneficial to the customer but would also save shoe shops having to store large numbers of shoes in different sizes and reduces the risk of stock going to waste. . won't be so beneficial to Nike's shareholders though, when it puts thousands of sweatshop workers out of a job..... .

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