Sep 7, 2017 | By David

Tech giant HP is continuing its advances into the world of 3D printing technology with the announcement today of FitStation powered by HP. FitStation is a pioneering 3D printing solution for the retail market that could be disruptive in a way that set off a major trend. It will deliver custom-fitted and individualized footwear for customers, through innovative 3D scanning of their feet, dynamic gait analysis and advanced additive manufacturing technologies.

“FitStation is a truly disruptive platform that will improves people’s lives and change the way people purchase footwear and shoe insoles,” said Louis Kim, Global Head of Immersive Computing, Personal Systems, HP Inc. “We are reinventing the footwear shopping experience, bringing a level of customization and personalization never before seen. We are stitching HP’s capabilities in 3D scanning and 3D printing to bring this Blended Reality vision to life and are working with leading partners within the footwear industry to develop this revolutionary platform.”

The FitStation system will be the first technology of its kind on the market, a truly end-to-end software and hardware solution that can provide individualized footwear as well as insoles and product recommendations. It can take detailed 3D scans of feet, measure the amount of pressure a customer’s foot exerts on the ground when they walk and put this through biomechanical analysis, and gather specific information about their gait. All this combined adds up to an incredibly personalized profile, which can be used in a variety of ways.

The FitStation platform is due to be piloted in a select number of Superfeet stores. Superfeet provides innovative, over-the-counter insoles to retail customers. The technology will also be implemented by German shoe manufacturer, Steitz Secura, whose products have a particular focus on safety, comfort and preventative healthcare.

“For 40 years, we have set the standard for shape and fit. Until today, the technology to deliver a 3D printed insole that meets Superfeet’s exacting standards didn’t exist,” said Eric Hayes, Chief Marketing Officer at Superfeet. “Our new solution allows us to create the most individualized shape and fit on the planet.”

Should the customer choose to have new insoles made at a Superfeet store, the FitStation system will analyze their data and send it to be 3D printed. HP’s proprietary MultiJet Fusion 3D printing technology will be used, and these 3D printed insoles will be added to pre-existing shoes to improve comfort and fit. Alternatively, the data can be used in the design process for entirely new footwear at Steitz Secura, which will come with special polyurethane injected midsoles, varying in density based on the customer's needs.

As well as giving customers the opportunity for better products in terms of comfort, safety, functionality, and individual aesthetic preference, FitStation will also be a huge boon for retailers. It will drastically cut down on materials costs, as well as production times, and local on-demand manufacturing means that product returns could soon be a thing of the past. The novelty of such an innovative and personalized technology should also give Superfeet and Steitz Secura a significant competitive edge.




Posted in 3D Printing Application



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