Do you dream of having a pair of shoes that fit you perfectly? This dream may soon be well within reach.
With the rise of 3D printing and other technologies, mass customization is poised to radically disrupt the footwear industry in the coming years. Today, shoes are mass produced based on measurements of an average person. But of course every person’s body is unique. This means that people have to settle for shoes that don’t perfectly fit for their feet. To tackle this challenge, Danish footwear brand ECCO’s Innovation Lab (ILE) piloted QUANT-U. ILE produces 3D printed silicone midsoles customized for each individual consumer. The outcome is footwear with individual fit and comfort.
FashionLab, Dassault Systèmes’ technology incubator dedicated to the use of 3D design, simulation and collaboration applications in consumer goods and retail is an important partner on this project. Joining forces with ILE resulted in a powerful and innovative self-learning system based on unique algorithms.
The system allows each customer’s foot structure and walking patterns to be analyzed and scanned in an ECCO store. After this real-time analysis, Dassault Systèmes’ cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform with CATIA applications interprets the biomechanical data into geometries that can be 3D printed without any operator intervention. In less than two hours a fully customized shoe, engineered to a wearer’s specific biomechanical and orthotic parameters, is finished.
ECCO’s CRM systems speaks directly with the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, sending data back and forth, which is necessary for the process to be efficient. CATIA facilitates the input data, giving exact results on the biomechanical data.
This 3D printed footwear project is on the cutting edge of customization for enhanced consumer experience in the consumer goods industry, demonstrating the potential for 3D-based technologies. It shows that success is possible by putting customers at the very center of innovation. The process is as simple and intuitive as it gets: walk into a store, get your feet scanned and leave with a pair of customized shoes.
The next step is clear: if ECCO wants to commercialize the project, they have to industrialize. For now, Quant-U is only available to the public at ECCO’s experimental store W-21 in Amsterdam during selected periods and at global events. If Quant-U is rolled out on a larger scale due to ECCO’s global presence , it will probably disrupt the way the whole footwear industry works.
Want to learn more about ECCO’s disruptive project? Check out the video here.