May 19, 2015 | By Simon

Since they have become more affordable and accessible for small businesses and consumers, one of the most popular uses for 3D scanners and depth cameras such as Microsoft’s Kinect or Intel’s RealSense has been in creating anatomically-correct, customized products.  

While clothing and accessories do come in multiple sizes, there are oftentimes hundreds - if not thousands - of additional adjustments that could be made from one person to the next to ensure a better fit.  Thanks to 3D scanning and subsequently, 3D printing, this process can be reversed and products can be made with tailored fits not unlike a custom suit from a professional tailor.  

Among other applications for the technology, Volumental, a Swedish firm, believes that they can forever change the experience of buying footwear by allowing people to 3D scan their feet at home to make more intelligent shoe purchasing decisions.  While the company didn’t develop a new way of 3D scanning, they did develop software that works in tandem with a 3D scanner - which takes a 1:1 3D image of a foot and archives a 3D model of it for easy footwear size referencing.  

“Our vision is that the system of going around the stores, trying on lots of shoes or jeans and different products and having a problem of not knowing whether you are medium or large ... I think that system will be completely gone in 10 years. Instead it will be size me,” said Caroline Walerud, a co-founder of the company.

“You will only be given products that fit your body shape. We are going to create that standard for how to size people. In the first, for shoes and then for other products.”

The company aims to use the software in two ways that will likely forever change the future of shopping for footwear for the better:

First, brands such as Nike can have their own 3D scanning hardware in a retail environment that leverages Volumental’s platform.  When a consumer provides their foot data, they can then have custom footwear created around their foot based off of the 3D imagery.     

Second, the software can also be used to find a shoe for existing scan data of a customer’s foot - wherever a shoe may be in the world.

While there are already a variety of depth cameras and 3D scanners on the market, the company is planning on making use of 3D scanners that are expected to be embedded in mobile phones by 2017.  We are already seeing this being done with laptops that feature Intel’s RealSense 3D scanning technology.  

“Our globally praised 3D scanning software has created thousands of models on and is used in pilot projects for finding perfect fitting footwear in the footwear retail industry,” says the company on their website.  

“Helping your customers finding a perfect fitting shoe fast increases customer satisfaction and reduces returns. Also, getting a 3D model of a foot enables a future of customized footwear that fits you perfectly.”



Posted in 3D Scanning


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Kevon wrote at 5/19/2015 7:04:08 PM:

No matter what tech you make shoes with they'll still be bad for your body. Why does 3ders feel the need to show every single article about shoes with 3d printing?

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