FitStation 3D Technology Used to Create Personalized Running Shoes Based on Biomechanics

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[Image: Superfeet]

It was only a few months ago that HP hit the ground running with FitStation, a platform powered by its 3D technologies that’s delivering individualized, custom-fitted footwear. The process uses individual 3D feet scanning and dynamic gait analysis to provide recommendations for off-the-shelf shoes and insoles, and also creates 3D printed insoles and customized footwear. HP’s Sprout and Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology work with the FitStation platform, and the company also works with partners in the sportswear and footwear apparel industry, including its US FitStation distributor Superfeet and DESMA.

Now, Brooks Running Company, which sells its performance footwear, apparel, sports bras, and accessories in over 50 countries, is teaming up with HP and Superfeet to develop the first performance running shoe that’s based on a person’s unique biomechanics.

The FitStation scan setup: 3D scanner with block and gait analysis mat [Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

Brooks, which mostly focuses on running, will leverage its own Run Signature and HP’s FitStation, which aligns with Run Signature’s principles of creating footwear that will work with a runner’s natural motion, to deliver the most personalized running footwear ever to be placed on your feet.

“Brooks is committed to providing the fit, feel and ride each runner wants. The ability to give an individual a personalized shoe based on his or her unique biomechanics is a game changer,” said Brooks CEO Jim Weber. “It is a compelling offering for the runner who is interested in tip-of-the-spear technology and a totally tuned experience. As part of our focus on reinventing performance running, we will continue to push the envelope to bring runners innovations that help them uniquely tailor their run.”

Brooks works hard to provide personalized running experiences, and will enhance its Run Signature with the help of its new partnerships, as FitStation uses 3D scans and in-depth analysis to determine a runner’s own motion path and create a unique, holistic digital profile that combines a person’s biomechanics, experience, and fit.

The 3D printed heelcap of a Superfeet insole [Image: Sarah Goehrke for 3DPrint.com]

John Rauvola, the President and CEO of Superfeet, said, “Having the leader in running footwear leverage FitStation and our U.S. manufacturing facilities to create the most individualized running shoe on the market is momentous. Not only will it change what people expect from their running experience, it is also an important step in making a positive difference in people’s lives by delivering the best underfoot support possible. This is the beginning of the individualized fit revolution.”

The intense analysis completed by FitStation is translated into specific shoe requirements, using the 3D foot scans to make the proper lasts to build the shoe around. Superfeet then manufactures the personalized shoe at its Washington state headquarters on a DESMA polyurethane injection molding machine, making sure it is, according to Brooks, “tailored to the specific shape of the runner’s foot.”

Variable PU injection, with direct attach capabilities, uses a runner’s personal preferences, foot pressure measurements, and a movement analysis of their joints to create personalized midsole requirements that have several tuned zones. All of these factors are taken into account to make sure that runners can achieve the motion path and running experience they want.

“FitStation by HP is changing what personalization means—from the in-store experience to the final product. In collaboration with Brooks and Superfeet, we are delivering truly made-to-measure footwear with a lot size of one. Digitalization of biometric data opens an opportunity to ultimate individualization with the speed and cost efficiency of mass production,” said Ed Ponomarev, General Manager of FitStation and Business Development HP Inc. “HP brings deep experience in computing, scanning and technology integration at scale to deliver a revolutionary digital manufacturing platform, creating individualized products that are available to anyone—from casual runners to elite athletes.”

This week, Brooks is demonstrating what its new partnerships are capable of at The Running Event in Austin, Texas, where it will create personalized Brooks Levitate RS shoes for some select attendees. These new shoes, created with the help of HP’s 3D printing technology and FitStation, will be available through special order at select retail partners (list available here) in June of 2018.

What do you think of this news? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.

[Images provided by Brooks Running Company unless otherwise noted]

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