Although companies like Adidas and Ecco have focused on the 3D print footwear market, other companies are looking for ways to improve the lucrative fashion sector. Of course, fashion shoes are just the tip of the iceberg. There are more practical issues, such as comfort, value for money, and durability and pain relief for sports consumers. Shape Crunch, an Indian startup, chose another route, relying on customized insoles to enhance these attributes rather than printing the entire shoe.
Shape Crunch has a more noble mission than simply selling us upgraded services. The company has set out to prove that their insoles are affordable and people need them. They sell their orthodontics mainly in the form of medical devices. They even sell their shoes only through actual medical clinics and licensed doctors. By contrast, Shape Crunch's insoles are thicker, more visible supports and slopes are more personal.
According to the company, 3D printing insoles are not only cheaper, but also crucial to prevent running injuries. "Shoes in the whole industry are not made by doctors, but by marketers." Nitin Gandhi, co-founder of Shapecrunch, said: "When making high heels, doctors should stand up and say it's not a good thing. This is marketing! Marketers can do anything and sell anything. That's not what we're after."
Modern running shoes and pain relief
Shape Crunch is very serious about health care and allows doctors to weigh their designs. Their website actually has a complete section about all kinds of foot problems people may face, even the location of clinics. To get one of these insoles, you can place an order on their website or through a doctor. Doctors can also be partners in company programs.
So far, 100 doctors have signed up for Shape Crunch, including the United States, India and Singapore. The system can ensure that consumers get accurate versions suitable for their feet and make full use of the customizability of 3D printers.
This is a very data-driven approach that uses precise areas to meet patient specifications. The company also offers two major types of orthosis: regular shoes and running shoes. They recommend that the user switch the orthosis when changing shoes.
Developing custom insoles
Because traditional shoes need vacuum pads or ejection to get the impression of the foot, they are often hand-made. On the other hand, Shape Crunch developed insoles from three images and then automated the process. The company provides physical therapists with measuring devices so that they can measure shoe size and foot width.
One is the foot image. It corresponds to both sides of the shoe. Gandhi said: "The second picture is on the side. We check the vault we need, the starting point, the end point, and even everything. Then we get the back image, and we see how many deviations there are (at the heel). We have identified some restrictions on vaults and so on.
Doctors ask some medical questions and ask consumers about their medical history. They take the pain areas of both feet into account and upload them to the company's application. Shape Crunch used all these data to derive the perfect orthosis for patients. The system is essential for developing better foot care and specialized products to meet individual medical needs. It is hoped that these plans will one day meet the needs of the weak or the elderly around the world.