Everything you know about 3D printing in the footwear industry just became obsolete!
As 3D-printing technology starts to become cost competitive in line with traditional manufacturing methods, there is no denying that 3D printing is a broad field with many players and many different needs. Andrew Katon, CEO Cobbler Technologies, (USA based company) an expert in this field, shares: “3D-printing has remained out of reach for most production applications due to the high cost of materials. Our team of engineers has been quietly perfecting 3DAPDTM, a high-resolution production 3D-printing technology built around common production materials. The result is a dramatic cost reduction in 3D-printing which now positions 3DAPDTM as a competitive price option when businesses manufacture products.”
The Technology : Raw materials in a liquid or semi-liquid state undergo an energy driven phase transformation resulting in liquid atomization. The atomization is caused by a collision of semi-liquid material and high velocity gas. This collision breaks up a column of semi-liquid material into very fine droplets that are precisely deposited as an “atomized spray”. Three-dimensional Atomized Particle Deposition (3DAPDTM) technology enables 3D printing of functional multi-material products.
Particle Deposition: Development-stage 3DAPDTM nozzle technology allows the CobblerTM 3D-printer to deposit customized layers of atomized material in three dimensions. Fine particles provide for a smoother surface finish in comparison to most other 3D-printing technologies available on the market today. Printing nozzles draw multiple raw materials from industrial reservoirs, allowing for on-the-fly material changes between printed layers. Additional nozzles can be installed in parallel to scale production.
Multi material: While most 3D-printing technologies allow for printing of more than one material using a common platform, materials selection in this emerging industry is limited. Changing out materials or cartridges on machines can be time consuming and costly. The CobblerTM 3D-printer will be the first 3D-printer to enable additive construction of multi-material products with on-the-fly material mixing. Our proof-of concept printer made a shoe sole with 25 different density foam layers.
Materials: Print foams,rubbers, and plastics, advanced polymers
Now, Cobbler Technologies and SOAK USA are collaborating to print the world’s first 3D-printed recyclable fashion slide sandals. Designed for a woman’s everyday needs, SOAK slides are recyclable, vegan, eco-friendly, comfortable, water happy and stylish chic footwear. The socially-conscious company based in Maine is not unfamiliar with using custom technology to ensure comfort and arch support for their customers.