Over the last few months, we have noticed an emerging trend of companies using 3D printing and scanning in order to customize their products for each individual. Today we got word of another company who is also going this route.
ALprint is a British start-up who is getting ready to launch a mobile application which will allow users to take a few pictures of their feet, and then create 3D printed custom insoles for their ski boots. If you are a skier than you know that the comfort of the boot is the most important aspect of any skiing experience. An ill fitting boot can turn a seven hour ski outing into an excruciating ordeal.
The way this app will work is quite fascinating. Users will take a few pictures of their feet while standing on a calibration map which they can print from home. These pictures are then sent back to Alprint, via the app, along with other information such as the users weight, and ALprint does the rest. Their highly sophisticated computer algorithm crunches the data and images, to come up with a near perfect model, which is then printed out in 3D at ALprint’s headquarters. Alprint then will ship the soles directly to your door. The soles will fit in any ski boot, and will provide amazing support and comfort, according to the company.
“If you can’t afford £500 for a new pair (of boots) then you can go into any rental shop, put your own insole in and still get an increased degree of comfort,” says Chris Balmer of Heriot-Watt University, one of ALprint’s founders. Creating your own bespoke soles with ALprint will only cost around $40, says Balmer.
This kind of technology is disrupting traditional business models, creating a customzed consumer experience across many industries. Those within the ski industry, feel that this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to customization of gear via 3D printing. Discuss this article at 3DPrintBoard.com.
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