Here at 3D Rapid Print, one of the fastest growing 3D Printing companies in the Thames Valley, we like to keep abreast of the latest innovations in 3D printing.
Over the past few years, self-proclaimed “product solutions company” Jabil of Pinellas County, Florida has been increasing its focus on additive manufacturing. In late April 2018, they introduced their cloud-based and so-called “Jabil Additive Manufacturing Network”. As of October 2018, Jabil is increasingly focusing on 3D printed footwear. 3D printing is becoming an increasingly significant part of the footwear industry. For example, in 2016, Reebok of Boston, Massachusetts introduced their so-called “Liquid Speed” shoe, which uses a mystery substance developed by chemical producer company BASF of Ludwigshafen, Germany, so as to “draw” frames onto the shoe. This circumvents the traditional injection moulding process, which is significantly more expensive and significantly more time-consuming.
In late September 2016, Jabril collaborated with shoe insole and shoe insert company Superfeet of Edinburgh, Scotland to make 3D printed shoe insoles, which were brought to market in Spring 2017. Their next step is the mass production of 3D printed shoes and experimenting with 3D printed ski boots.
Society’s current footwear “standard” is held back by being significantly more “a few sizes fit all” than “one size fits all”; it is impossible for a shoe company’s range of sizes to account for the variation in the geometry of the population’s feet. 3D scanning and 3D printing allow shoes to be made to order, and to properly fit a person’s foot.
3D printing materials have come a long way in the past several years, and the selection of flexible materials is greater than it has ever been. Jabil argues that one should avail themselves of the concept of “Design for Additive Manufacturing” (DfAM) to create footwear components like insoles and outsoles, using materials like EVA, PU and TPA.
As increasing numbers of footwear brands increasingly turn to additive manufacturing, and 3D printed footwear dedicated start-ups are established, Jabil will face increasing levels of competition in the 3D printed footwear market. However, Jabil will benefit its years of experience in 3D printing.
3D printing is an amazing tool. It can grow your small business or start a mini revolution in an industry. Explore what it can do for you when you contact us today.
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