Materialise Partners with Tailored Fits

LEUVEN, Belgium, Sep 1, 2017 – 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.

A rendering of the final ski boot prototype

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.

3D-printed ski boot insole by Tailored Fits

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.

The printing process

“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,” said Reto Rindlisbacher, CEO of TAILORED FITS AG.

Tailored Fits ski boot insole, side view

“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.

About Materialise

Materialise incorporates more than 27 years of 3D printing experience into a range of software solutions and 3D printing services, which together form the backbone of 3D printing technologies. Materialise’s open and flexible solutions enable players in a wide variety of industries, including healthcare, automotive, aerospace, art and design, and consumer goods, to build innovative 3D printing applications that aim to make the world a better and healthier place. Headquartered in Belgium, with branches worldwide, Materialise combines the largest group of software developers in the industry with one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the world.

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