2/7/2019 | 1 MINUTE READ

Dow, ECCO, Dassault Design 3D-Printed, Customizable Midsoles

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Dow, ECCO and Dassault Systèmes have collaborated on a footwear customization project called Quant-U, that combines the customer’s individual biomechanical data, Silastic 3D 3335 liquid silicone rubber (LSR) from Dow and additive manufacturing (AM).

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Danish shoe designer ECCO, Dow and French software company Dassault Systèmes have introduced the Quant-U footwear customization project to industry experts, journalists, department stores and footwear trendsetters across the Asia-Pacific region.

Quant-U is an experimental footwear customization project by the Innovation Lab (ILE), ECCO’s independent cross-disciplinary design studio. According to the collaborative companies, the two-year project is expected to create a new paradigm for shoe fit, comfort and performance. A 3D-printable liquid silicone rubber developed by Dow is playing a role in Quant-U’s development and success.

Combining the customer’s individual biomechanical data, Silastic 3D 3335 liquid silicone rubber (LSR) from Dow, and additive manufacturing (AM), the service will produce silicone midsoles customized to the wearer’s foot shape and natural movements. The entire process will take place in-store and take less than an hour to complete, according to the companies.

A material developed by Dow, Silastic 3D 3335 liquid silicone rubber (LSR) is formulated to combine the performance benefits of silicone elastomers with the design and processing advantages of liquid 3D printing. It also is said to be suited for prototyping applications and small manufacturing trials of complex parts. It has a low viscosity for smooth printing and rheology for high resolution and accuracy.

In ECCO’s customized shoe midsoles, the elasticity and recovery of Silastic 3D 3335 LSR is said to optimize energy return, cushioning and foot stability. The midsoles are odor-free and do not contribute to bacterial growth, according to the company. They are said to be water-repellent, yet breathable, durable and machine washable. The midsoles are expected to have a long service life, even in adverse environments.

“The Quant-U collaboration showcases one of the opportunities Silastic 3D-printable liquid silicone rubbers are opening up for designers seeking part design flexibility, the processing advantages of additive manufacturing, and the performance advantages of silicone rubber,” says Charlie Zimmer, global marketing director for silicone elastomers with Dow Performance Silicones.

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