Skiing, you either love it or you hate it. I personally love the sport but am not a fan of the cold weather that typically comes along. Regardless though, skiing is a heck of a sport, one which has the ability to make a persons adrenaline go from 0-60 in a matter of a split second. This past week at ISPO MUNICH, where international exhibitors from around the world gather to show off their latest products from categories such as performance sports, health & fitness, skiing, and outdoor living, there was one product on hand that surprised many people, especially those who are avid skiers.
One of this year’s show highlights included the application of ski products, and one product on hand was created by CRP Technology’s Windform materials for additive manufacturing. The Windform EasyStand 3D printed ski boot brought home an award in the “Ski product” category, voted the best in its class by judges consisting of independent sports business professionals. It is constructed entirely of Windform SP, which is one of the top level materials offered by CRP Technology for additive manufacturing. It is a material that is polyamide-based featuring carbon fibers for reinforcement, and it has been used in the past for various parts within the fields of aerospace and motorsports.
Called the EasyStand, this 3D printed prototype ski boot is quite different than the typical ski boot you would find at your local ski shop.
“I’m a sporting goods dealer [for] more than 30 years and I am well aware of the questions regarding ski boots,” explained the inventor of the EasyStand ski boot, Franz Egger. “With [this] innovation, I wanted to find successful solutions for the manufacturer, for the sporting goods dealer and for the skier. My main aim is to bring back more skiers on the slopes (beginners and former skiers)”.
It’s a fact that as people get older, they give up sports such as skiing for more docile sports such as tennis and golf. Skiing can take a toll on the body, thus Egger wanted to find a solution that could help keep some of these older individuals on the slopes longer.
The EasyStand consists of a 3D printed boot as well as three different ski boot insoles, each being higher in the front when compared to the rear. This, according to Egger, ensures a much better fit on the heel, while also providing for more toe room up front. The idea behind it is that this setup provides the skier with more pressure for the initiation of turns and a better grip, thus leading to safer skiing and much fewer injuries.
The EasyStand features a split insole and an integrated wedge which is connected to a regulator. Adjusting this regulator allows for the wedge to be moved into three separate positions. This controls the height of the foot inside of the boot.
CRP Technology used selective laser sintering to fabricate the entire ski boot, and the Windform SP material was the perfect fit. It provides for plenty of mechanical resistance, is waterproof, and is able to be subjected to high stress fatigue. It is also a very elastic material, meaning that it can absorb stress which is always good for the joints of a skier.
As you can see in the photos provided, this ski boot also is rather aesthetically appealing. What do you think? Would you wear this EasyStand 3D printed ski boot on the slopes? Discuss in the EasyStand Ski boot forum thread on 3DPB.com.