In an announcement made by Stratasys, the leader in polymer 3D printing solutions has partnered with Danish footwear manufacturer - ECCO. As part of the partnership, the manufacturer will use the Stratasys Origin One 3D printing technology to accelerate product development.
The solution will allow ECCO to review early in the development cycle conceptual footwear samples using 3D printed moulds and lasts with resin materials from Henkel Loctite.
Innovating the production of shoes
While shoemaking is traditionally a very manual process, ECCO is working to integrate innovative technologies into their production, increasing automation and streamlining development processes.
One innovation has been the direct injection process (DIP) which has provided ECCO with multiple benefits including efficiency and reliability when securing the upper part of the shoe to the midsole. Further innovating the production of shoes and the DIP, ECCO has partnered with Stratasys harnessing the company’s Origin One 3D printer and proprietary P3 technology in its Portugal and Denmark development facilities.
ECCO is using the technology to print moulds and shoe lasts for development purposes matching the quality requirements of the CNC-machined aluminium counterparts. ECCO benefits from faster production and cost savings by using Stratasys’s 3D printing technology.
“Our innovative approach to footwear development and desire to put customer experience as a priority made additive manufacturing a logical next step in the evolution of our development process. In our search to find the right partner, we tested a variety of 3D printers for surface quality, print speed, and accuracy. Among the printers we tested, the Stratasys Origin One was the 3D printer that best met our stringent requirements,” said Vice President of Research and Development at ECCO, Jakob Møller Hansen.
“ECCO's case is a great example of how the footwear industry is embracing additive manufacturing for functional shoe parts, which goes beyond typical applications like sport shoe cushioning. We were able to collaborate with ECCO to provide a solution that allowed them to further innovate their processes and produce a quicker development workflow,” added Chris Prucha, CTO of Production P3 for Stratasys and a co-founder of Origin.
“Together with ECCO and Stratasys, we are on a journey to reshape the elements of footwear manufacturing with Loctite’s material innovation capabilities. With our ecosystem of partners in the market space, we are at the forefront of scaling additive manufacturing to its fullest,” concluded Cindy Deekitwong, Global Head of Marketing, Henkel Adhesives’ Incubator Businesses.