Shamil Hargovan, CEO and co-founder of Wiivv â€” which offers its own custom-fit products and also works with brands to bring custom products to the market â€” said 3-D printing remains a critical harbinger for change.
â€œCustom-fit doesnâ€™t have to be 3-D-printed, but at the moment, itâ€™s the best answer. Itâ€™s the only reliable manufacturing technology available today that allows us to make completely custom one-off shoe parts â€” even unique from left and right â€” without cutting new tools or molds,â€� he explained.
He said that people increasingly want everything immediately and on-demand, and 3-D printing provides just the right fix. â€œ3-D printing affords us the ability to create and deliver products in each continent, with no need for huge central factories,â€� Hargovan said. â€œIt means we can deliver your custom product in seven days, not a month. It reduces shipping costs and environmental impact, and enables us to invest in local manufacturing.â€�
Hargovan continued that 3-D printing also results in happier customers. â€œOffering a custom-fit product not only answers the question that all online shoppers have, (for example, â€˜will this fit?â€™) but also improves the way you feel and function while wearing the product, adding a whole new level of value,â€� he said.
Casey Kerrigan, chairman of OESH Shoes â€” a brand that prints the entire sole for its sandals â€” forecasted that 3-D printing will continue to make waves. â€œThe biomechanics and comfort achieved with a 3-D-printed elastomeric sole are far better than what can be achieved with a sole made using traditional manufacturing practices,â€� she said. â€œAnd of course, footwear made using 3-D printing allows the possibility of customizing footwear based not just on fit but also on an individualâ€™s biomechanics.â€�
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