Lenovo: ThinkPad and 3D printing
For people with foot abnormalities, finding the right pair of shoes has long required a series of compromises: settling for shoes that don’t fit, are too expensive, or look plain unattractive. Footprint 3D’s founders are taking these problems head-on. They’re developing a more supportive footbed that correctly aligns joints and ligaments and alleviates pain. And they’re creating designs that compete aesthetically – and economically – with the world’s leading brands.
How do they do it? Footprint 3D first scans a person’s feet, then feeds the 3D data into modeling software to produce custom footbed designs. By enhancing these models with structures formed by a set of algorithms, the files are then printed through a process known as selective laser sintering and assembled with a unique upper comprised of advanced textiles. The result is a single pair of shoes designed and made for a single individual – the ultimate market of one.
Footprint 3D’s rapid manufacturing accomplishes more than just a custom fit; it eliminates the waste caused by traditional manufacturing, including excess molds, tools, and scrap. They also use materials much more environmentally friendly than EVA, the most common shoe midsole foam that can last up to 1,000 years in a landfill.
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