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30. April 2019

3D printing technology for customised footwear

Danish shoe designer Ecco, together with Dow and French software company Dassault Systèmes recently introduced the Quant-U footwear customisation for shoes. Quant-U is an experimental footwear customisation project by the Innovation Lab (ILE), Ecco’s independent cross-disciplinary design studio.

The service combines the customer’s individual biomechanical data, 3D-printable liquid silicone rubber Silastic 3D 3335 LSR from Dow and additive manufacturing to produce silicone midsoles customised to the wearer’s foot shape and natural movements. The entire process takes place in-store and takes less than an hour to complete.

Silicone midsoles are 3D-printed live at Ecco's concept store. (Source: Ecco)

Silicone midsoles are 3D-printed live at Ecco's concept store. (Source: Ecco)

The LSR is specifically formulated to combine the performance benefits of silicone elastomers with the design and processing advantages of 3D printing. It has a low viscosity for smooth printing and a unique rheology for high resolution and accuracy.

The customised shoe midsoles are odour-free and do not contribute to bacterial growth. They are water-repellent, yet breathable; extremely durable; machine washable; and have a long service life, even in adverse environments.

“The Quant-U collaboration showcases one of the infinite opportunities Silastic 3D-printable liquid silicone rubbers are opening up for designers seeking part design flexibility and the processing advantages of additive manufacturing along with the performance advantages of silicone rubber,” said Charlie Zimmer, global marketing director for silicone elastomers with Dow Performance Silicones.


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