When it comes to 3D printing, the technology offers incredible customization options whether it be for tools, home decor, or even fashion. While the idea of 3D printing dresses, evening gowns and blouses may not seem all that appealing just yet, several companies are diving into the realm of 3D printing footwear. Most notably, in the United States, Feetz has been the company which has made the most headlines thus far, but abroad there are companies in other countries trying their best to innovate upon the idea of 3D printing footwear as well.
For one Chinese startup, Jiaodu Technology, they have taken the idea of customization a step further by creating what they claim to be the first ever 3D foot scanner, aimed at making the customization process of footwear even more reliable.
Jiaodu has just unleashed a new 3D footwear fabrication process which they refer to as “Foot of the Cloud” (rough translation) at a startup competition in China.
“Many people, especially a lot of girls, worry about their shoes,” explained chief adviser of foot science and technology for Jiaodu Technology, Mr. Xu Chaoyi. “Wearing very beautiful shoes, usually means that they are very uncomfortable, or even can lead to bone disease, toe deformation, etc. This is because the development of the footwear industry, for so many years, has been based on standard shoe design, and are not customized for each person. Of course this leads to more or less inappropriate sizes. It is our goal to use the internet and 3D technology to change the industry so that everyone can wear a pair of properly fitting shoes.”
Following in line with this goal, Jiaodu has created a small foot scanner which can be installed at various shoe stores, and is operated over the cloud, sending foot scan data directly to the company, allowing them to fabricate a 3D printed shoe that is sized perfectly for the customer.
In just 3 seconds, the scanner can analyze a user’s foot, creating all the data necessary for the fabrication of a pair of shoes. The user then selects a style, and the shoes are 3D printed and shipped directly to their door.
Traditionally, completely custom shoes like this were only made available for wealthy individuals, but now, thanks to Jiaodu and this new 3D foot scanner, a pair of shoes can be purchased for just a few hundred dollars.
Currently there are 10 shoe models available to purchase using this technology, but the company plans to partner with more shoe manufacturers in order to unveil even more models in the near future.
It should be interesting to see how quickly this new technology catches on, and if it begins to make its way to other shoe stores around the world. What do you think about the use of 3D foot scanners like this one? Would you have your foot scanned at your local shoe store in order to get the perfect fitting footwear? Discuss in the 3D foot scanner forum thread on 3DPB.com.