Among the big names in the industry that work with 3D printing, both in the development of new models and commercializing existing ones, surely you have never heard of OESH, basically because this is a small shoe factory based in Charlottesville (United States) that has just received a subsidy from the National Science Foundation so they can develop a specific 3D printer for shoe manufacturing.
As is logical, unlike in other countries, the aid granted to OESH has not even been given «finger»Rather, it comes from an established program of small business research and innovation. As announced by the managers of this small factory, today they are trying to develop a specific 3D printer capable of manufacturing shoes both in parts and in its entirety, using plastic pellets as the primary material.
OESH already has several functional prototypes of its 3D printer
The true ultimate goal of this research is to create a series of manufacturing centers distributed on a small scale to ensure that production is no longer located in South America or Asia and returns to the United States. As usual, taking advantage of the versatility of 3D printing, OESH wants to offer customization possibilities for all types of shoes and sneakers thus allowing designs that, at least to date, are not possible with traditional manufacturing techniques.
As a final detail, despite the fact that the subsidy has been awarded to continue developing this technology, the truth is that today OESH already has a first working prototype capable of creating sandals that are already being marketed. These sandals, known by the name of Athena, have a sole made by 3D printing in cellular elastomer material that, according to certain studies, offer a much better performance than traditional ones whose sole is made of foam. The sandals are sold through the OESH virtual store at a price of $ 135 per pair.