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Posted on September 01, 2017

Digital supply chain for custom-fit ski boots

3D Printing 2017 Report
Materialise, a leading provider of additive manufacturing software and sophisticated 3D printing solutions, has partnered with winter sports gear and tailored footwear specialist Tailored Fits, to launch the world's first end-to-end digital supply chain for custom-fit ski boots. The supply chain is supported by a customization platform for wearables, co-developed by Materialise and Tailored Fits, which includes a customer interface, design automation and process automation. Materialise also provides the entire production capacity for the certified additive manufacturing of the customized ski boots.
 
The solution co-created by the two companies already enables customers to have their feet scanned by Tailored Fits' speciality sporting goods retailers in ten minutes, and receive individually tailored 3D printed boot insoles in under ten days, and will soon provide skiers with the option to fully customize either their ski boot liner or the entire ski boot for optimum comfort and performance.
 
A customization platform for wearables, developed over the course of one year's intensive co-creation between Materialise and Tailored Fits, automates the design-to-delivery process. The process begins with anatomically detailed 3D scans of the wearer's feet, which the design automation software translates into individualized inserts. The platform conveys these as print-ready instruction to the Certified Additive Manufacturing facility at Materialise, where the inserts are produced in a flexible 3D printing material, TPU 92A-1.
 
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"At Tailored Fits, we understand skiers' needs and the biomechanics of sports motion. And we have access to one of the world's best sports gear development labs. From the partnership with Materialise, we gained access to the additive manufacturing expertise to develop the best 3D printed solution for making mass customized production a reality. I believe each company has brought out the best in the other."
 
Reto Rindlisbacher, CEO of TAILORED FITS AG "The creation of a unique digital supply chain meant working incredibly closely with the Tailored Fits team to develop the 'tailored fit' for them. Working with this company has been a real honor and a true co-creation project," said Dr. Alireza Parandian, Corporate Innovations and Global Strategist for Wearables at Materialise. "I look forward to the identification of similar applications in consumer goods where we can add real value with this customization platform for wearables."
 
Materialise will manage and continue to enhance the automation process, and provide 100% of the production capacity required to support the supply chain. Tailored Fits ski boots are scheduled to be available from leading sporting goods retailers from December 2017.
 
Source and top image: Materialise
Learn more at the next leading event on the topic: 3D Printing USA 2017 External Link on 15 - 16 Nov 2017 in Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA hosted by IDTechEx.