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Your location: Home > Related Articles > 3D printing technology brings “new possibilities” to the manufacturing of orthopedic insoles

3D printing technology brings “new possibilities” to the manufacturing of orthopedic insoles

Author:QINSUN Released in:2024-03 Click:33

In traditional shoe making enterprises, brand owners need to provide production diagrams and metal molds for the soles of shoes to the factory before converting design inspiration into physical products. And this process takes about a month, and the produced samples usually go through multiple and repeated modifications, each time a new sample is produced. Until the final version is finalized, it takes a long time and has poor flexibility.

With 3D printing technology, the significant advantages of 3D printing are demonstrated in the design process. It can directly use software to input designer samples into printing equipment, quickly obtaining physical objects. The entire process only takes a few hours, effectively accelerating the speed of product innovation and improving the production efficiency of enterprises.

The application of 3D printing in the shoe modeling industry is mainly for foot correction and sports shoes. In recent years, with the development of technology, major sports brands have begun to try to apply new technologies to their own products: Adidas and Nike have launched 3D printed running shoes, Adidas uses ocean recycling to manufacture running shoes, and so on.

As early as 2019, sports brand Pick launched its first fully 3D printed shoe, the "Future Fusion". In the eyes of some consumers, these sneakers are good in both performance and fashion. Recently, Peak officially launched a new pair of 3D printed casual shoes - the Peak "Monster" 3D printed casual shoes. The shoes have beautiful colors and novel styles, and have won the pursuit of a large number of fans.

3D printed shoe correction is mainly used in the insole area, targeting patients with abnormal foot arches such as diabetic feet, high arched feet, and mild to moderate flat feet. Specifically, the digital model uses 3D printing technology to complete the production of orthopedic insoles, which has the characteristics of high accuracy, fast efficiency, and excellent shaping; The 3D printing design is filled with honeycomb structures, which can provide different stress support.

Overall, 3D printed orthopedic insoles are designed based on biomechanical principles and support the arch of the foot to achieve three-point support. They can correct calcaneus inversion, balance plantar pressure, prevent corrective deformities, reduce foot fatigue and pain, and increase the comfort of walking with both feet.

Market research institutions have pointed out that 3D printing of thermosetting materials through FDM extrusion technology may be one of the new trends that have emerged and developed in the past year. However, the footwear additive manufacturing market still heavily relies on photopolymerization and polymer powder bed melting technology. In both cases, the key material for terminal applications is modified polyurethane. The material expected to be widely used in powder bed fusion is thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU).

Although 3D printing technology has great development potential, due to factors such as printing materials and technology, the cost of 3D printing sports shoes is currently relatively expensive. The better the printing effect and quality, the higher the price of equipment and materials. For consumers, whether they can accept 3D printed shoes, product quality and price are two major factors to consider.

In terms of shoe manufacturing, personalized customization, direct midsole, direct mold, and intelligent insoles have made the application range of this industry increasingly wide. The integration application of 3D printing system and cloud platform system can provide all data information of production printing in a two-way interactive form for the large-scale production of shoe mold industry, achieving real-time monitoring, management, recording, and storage of multiple devices, and batch intelligent production scheduling of orders, thereby promoting the improvement of shoe efficiency and quality.

In addition, in the medical field, personalized medical and precision medical technologies such as 3D printing can perform joint revision surgery for a large number of patients with severe bone defects and hip and knee joint replacement prosthetic failures that are difficult to treat with conventional surgical techniques, and achieve better clinical results.

Looking forward to 3D printing showcasing more diverse values and application possibilities in jewelry manufacturing, fashion design, and other fields!