Last year, Wiivv, manufacturer of custom 3D printed insoles, broke several crowdfunding records with their first Kickstarter campaign, which introduced their 3D printed insoles to the world. It turns out that many, many people have difficulty finding shoes that fit them comfortably, and Wiivv’s proprietary technology, which uses photographs to create specially customized insole designs for each individual, meets a need that has been sorely missing in the current footwear market. Two weeks ago, when Wiivv launched their second Kickstarter campaign, this time for customized 3D printed sandals, we wondered if they would break their own records.
The answer to that question is a resounding yes. With less than two weeks left in the campaign, Wiivv’s Custom Fit Sandals have surpassed the company’s $250,000 funding goal and now hold the title of most funded 3D printed product ever on Kickstarter. We never really doubted that the campaign would be funded successfully. Many, many people love flip-flops in warm weather (and some, inexplicably, in subzero midwinter temperatures – i’m looking at you, weird guy from college), but they’re not the most comfortable shoes, especially when one is walking for any distance. Wiivv promises to change that.
“Hitting our goal tells me that customers want custom products,” said Shamil Hargovan, CEO & Co-Founder of Wiivv and Forbes 30 Under 30 recipient. “We set out to prove that they want this new category of footwear and clearly they do. This is the second time we’ve gone to Kickstarter and set the record for the most-funded 3D printed product. This backing, plus our 15,000-plus Custom Fit 3D Printed Insole customers, proves this market is here to stay.”
The 3D printed footwear market is definitely here to stay, and that’s rarely been more evident than in the last week, which saw 3D printing used in MLB cleats, an artist experimenting with entirely 3D printed shoes, and the first mass-produced 3D printed athletic shoe, courtesy of Adidas and Carbon.
“I’m thrilled to see footwear innovation powerhouse, Adidas, experiment with 3D-printed footwear. However, we believe the true power of 3D printing lies in the ability to customize it to you, unique to 14 billion feet,” continued Hargovan. “Wiivv has developed the technology to enable people to do this from their smartphone. That’s what we’ve done for the first time in the world with Wiivv Custom Fit Sandals.”
I’ve been trying out a pair of Wiivv’s custom 3D printed insoles for review, and will be trying a pair of their 3D printed sandals in the future, so I can vouch that the smartphone app is incredibly easy and quick to use – no special scanning technology required. Add that to the miraculous proposition of comfortable flip-flops, and it’s no surprise that the campaign has already been so successful.
“Our sandals aren’t just comfortable and personalized. They’re biomechanically designed to eliminate over-pronation, toe scrunch and foot fatigue without compromising style. We’re passionate believers in being the first to bring the highest-quality, truly functional and uncompromisingly stylish 3D printed custom products to people at an affordable price,” Hargovan told 3DPrint.com upon the initial launch of the sandal campaign.
Wiivv’s next goal is a stretch goal of $600,000. If they hit that point, backers will receive shoes with premium leather footbeds and a wider range of leather strap options.
“What the Sandal does for the first time is offer custom fit footwear at scale and at an affordable price point,” said Hargovan. “We’re created a solution that leverages what 3D printing is best at, making footwear just for you, while leveraging existing 3D printing technologies to do so. Clearly the industry is moving in this direction, and we couldn’t be more excited to bring the benefits of custom worldwide.”
If you’re interested in backing Wiivv’s current campaign, there are still plenty of rewards available. $79 will get you your own pair of customized 3D printed sandals, which are expected to retail at $95, and higher pledge options offer perks like extra straps, additional insoles, and even special editions with Swarovski crystals. Rewards will begin shipping in August of this year. Discuss in the Wiivv forum at 3DPB.com.
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