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Danish footwear brand ECCO will launch a 3D printing custom shoe system in April
Mar 21, 2018

The popular Danish footwear brand ECCO is pushing its shoe design to new heights with its new pilot project, "QUANT-U".The project, which combines 3D scanning with 3D printing, will be launched in April at the w-21 Amsterdam concept store in ECCO, the Netherlands.


3D printed shoes are not entirely new, because established sneaker manufacturers such as Feetz and adidas have been experimenting with the technology for years.Still, it is always exciting to see other recognized shoe brands becoming more mature.

ECCO is known for its high quality footwear and leather products and is the latest company to try the potential of 3D printing.As with most other 3D printing shoes, the main reason for this is to provide customers with the opportunity to fully customize footwear.


The quant-u 3D printing shoe pilot project, called by innovation lab ECCO (ILE), is reported to be able to produce a custom-made pair of shoes in a few hours.When ECCO launches the system in Amsterdam next month, customers will be able to see the process firsthand.

"From my experience in footwear design and engineering, the perfect fit, the perfect motivation and the ultimate performance have been my obsession," says Patrizio Carlucci, the director of ILE."We now combine the technology of the future to customize the function and comfort of the shoe without disturbing its aesthetics."


How will ECCO's custom shoe system work?The company has broken down into three simple steps: real-time analytics, data-driven design and in-store 3D printing.

The first step, real-time analysis, involves using 3D scanning and sensor data to capture the wearer's digital footprint.ECCO says the step can be completed in 30 seconds and will provide basic information about the wearer's specific orthotics and how they move.


The 3D scanning and sensor technology used by ECCO is developed in collaboration with the UK's Cambridge design partner, which helps it implement a custom-made wearable sensor system."These sensors use gyroscopes, pressure sensors and accelerometers and the temperature and humidity inside the shoe to measure a large amount of data to create an image of a person's gait signal," ECCO explains.

By mastering these biomechanical data, ECCO can generate a 3D model for the wearer of a custom medium.The software used to generate the tailor-made software is developed in collaboration with FashionLab of dtsystemes, and USES machine learning and structural simulation to provide ideal coordination.


"The cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform explains biomechanical data as geometric shapes for 3D printing," the company added."Generate design through FEA simulation to ensure superior functionality."

When this design phase is completed, ECCO is then ready to use the customized German RepRap additive manufacturing system for 3D printing.It is reported that the 3D printer operating in the store can produce a customized medium base within a few hours.The bottom itself will be printed out of a dedicated silicon-based material developed by dow chemical.


"We see a lot of activity about 3D printing shoes, and we don't have a credible solution to a truly mass customization from our competitors," Carlucci said."Additive manufacturing provides the opportunity to create a series of custom components, but rarely used in consumer products, probably due to the complexity of the 3D model and the lack of measurement data.

"To solve this problem, we focus on the digital collection and analysis of movement and correction data, and then make sure that this experience is no more complex than trying on shoes and walking for a few minutes in a store.We really translate over 50 years of shoe manufacturing experience into an algorithm."


As mentioned earlier, ECCO will launch its QUANT-U pilot project at the w-21 concept store in Amsterdam in April.Within a week, the selected audience will be able to see the actual application of 3D printing technology.

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