Dow Silicones in 3D Printed Midsole Cores by ECCO
EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber leveraged for printed midsole cores in customized footwear by ECCO.
MIDLAND, Mich. - April 04, 2018 - Dow Silicone Elastomers, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company, has developed EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber – a new 3D-printable liquid silicone rubber. This high-performance material is a key component for printing midsole cores of customized footwear developed by the Innovation Lab of the Danish footwear company ECCO (ILE) in its pilot project Quant-U.
Combining individual bio-mechanical data and in-store additive manufacturing, EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber enables 3D printing midsoles that are used for customized footwear developed by the QUANT-U pilot. The midsoles are customized to the wearer’s foot shape and natural movements – within only a few hours. The first-of-its-kind service will initially be available, at ECCO’s concept store, W-21 Amsterdam, Netherlands.
EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber was developed in collaboration with German RepRap GmbH, a leading manufacturer for fused filament fabrication (FFF) 3D printers. The breakthrough new materials technology is perhaps the first Dow solution to be formulated specifically for designers seeking to combine the performance benefits of silicone with the design and processing advantages of their additive manufacturing process.
The customization of the midsoles occurs through a three-step process: First, wearable sensors and 3D foot scanning technology are used to measure the structure and gait of each foot. Next, the individual’s bio-mechanical data are interpreted to digitally configure a customized form of the midsole, to give individual function. Finally, the pattern uses EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber to print a customized midsole, which is then inserted into the footwear purchased by the individual.
“Our collaboration with ECCO showcases only one of the infinite opportunities EVOLV3D™ LC 3335 Liquid Silicone Rubber is opening up for designers seeking part design flexibility and the processing advantages of additive manufacturing along with the performance benefits of silicone rubber. It is truly a great solution,” said Kris Verschueren, global innovation program manager at Dow. “We were pleased to be a part of this unique project, which promises to improve footwear functionality and comfort for consumers.”
Read more about the QUANT-U project at www.quant-u.com/press.
The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) combines science and technology knowledge to develop premier materials science solutions that are essential to human progress. Dow has one of the strongest and broadest toolkits in the industry, with robust technology, asset integration, scale and competitive capabilities that enable it to address complex global issues. Dow’s market-driven, industry-leading portfolio of advanced materials, industrial intermediates, and plastics businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated technology-based products and solutions for customers in high-growth markets such as packaging, infrastructure, and consumer care. Dow is a subsidiary of DowDuPont (NYSE: DWDP), a holding company comprised of Dow and DuPont with the intent to form three strong, independent, publicly traded companies in agriculture, materials science and specialty sectors. More information can be found at www.dow.com.
About ECCO and ILE
Founded by shoemaker Karl Toosbuy in Denmark in 1963, ECCO footwear has since grown into a global brand with factories and retailers across the world. ECCO manages the entire manufacturing process from start to finish; ECCO designers develop the collections, ECCO owned tanneries produce the leather and ECCO owned factories make the shoes sold across the world. ECCO, from the very beginning, has fused together premium raw materials with dynamic comfort platforms to produce an unparalleled wearing experience for its consumer.
Innovation Lab ECCO (ILE) is ECCO’s independent cross-disciplinary design studio. ILE explores, creates and delivers projects embracing alternative production methods, advanced materials, new technologies and experiential solutions in footwear.