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Application of 3D printing DLP technology in the shoe industry

DLP printers use DMD (Digital Micro Projection Chip), which is composed of millions of tiny reflectors. Each reflector can be controlled independently and can be tilted to adjust the direction of light projection. The number of mirrors within the DMD determines the printing resolution.

The principle of DLP 3D printing technology is based on the properties of light-curing resin. Before printing begins, DLP cuts the 3D model into many thin layers based on its data. When the printer works, it projects an image onto the photosensitive resin. The image is made up of millions of tiny points of light, each corresponding to a pixel. These tiny spots of light influence the resin, causing it to solidify into the desired shape. Then, the printing platform gradually rises, and printing is repeated layer by layer until the entire model is completed.

The highly elastic shoe molds produced by 3D printers can have very fine patterns and smooth surfaces, sometimes without the need for later polishing, and at the same time reduce maintenance costs. The shoe molds have excellent toughness, hardness, dimensional stability, temperature resistance, compressive strength, and physical properties such as flexural strength that are relatively stable. Through data collection and analysis, 3D printing can enable the same shoe to be customized in batches in a short time based on different consumers’ foot shapes, preferences, and required cushioning and support.

The application of 3D printing technology in the field of shoemaking is mainly in the following aspects:

1. Replace wooden molds:

Use 3D printing equipment to directly create shoe prototypes that can be sand cast and completely printed in 360 degrees. Replace wood. The time is shorter, there is less manpower, and materials are saved. The shoe mold has a wider printing range for complex patterns, and the processing process is more flexible and efficient. Reduce noise, dust, and corrosion pollution.

2. Six-sided mold printing:

3D printing technology can directly print the entire six-sided mold. There is no need for a tool path editing process or operations such as tool changing and platform rotation. Each shoe mold data feature is integrated and accurately expressed. At the same time, the 3D printer can print multiple models with different data specifications at one time, significantly improving printing efficiency. The most efficient mass-production printing equipment can print each shoe in an average of 1.5 hours, which facilitates designers to evaluate the appearance and design concepts of shoe samples and is also suitable for demonstrations of product marketing activities.

3. Try-on sample:

Development sample shoes, such as slippers and boots, are provided with trial shoe samples before they are officially put into production. Soft-material shoe samples can be printed directly through 3D printing to test the cooperation between the last, upper, and sole. 3D printing technology can directly print the trial-fitting mold completely, effectively shortening the shoe design cycle.



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Matrix Laser Technology Co., Ltd focuses on cutting-edge laser technologies and applications for unique industrial sectors by carrying on engineering co-development with leading engineering universities in China. With a technology-based, customer-oriented, and process-supported proposition, we aim to serve the global market with 3D printing and ultrafast laser processing technologies.

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