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The use of a SMARTTECH 3D scanner in the production of the shoes

Updated: Mar 16, 2022

3D technologies are increasingly entering modern enterprises, finding applications in more and more new areas, slowly becoming our everyday life. We are often unaware of the contribution of modern technology to the creation of products that accompany us at every step.

A perfect example of the usage of 3D scanners is footwear production. One of the first brands that became interested in this solution was American Yezzy. The company's designers used a 3D scanner to create a new Yeezy sports footwear line.

Thanks to the use of 3D scanning technology, it is possible to quickly and easily obtain information about the geometry, color, and texture of shoes. This method fared much better than traditional methods used so far in the production and quality control of footwear. Digital technologies also allow for more freedom to modernize and refine designs. Moreover, the process can be carried out by people without technical education or specialist preparation. The digitization of sports footwear has brought many benefits to Yeezy. Previous modeling methods were more money and time-consuming.

For the digitization of processes related to the production of footwear, Yeezy used SMARTTECH3D UNIVERSE scanner with a resolution of 5 Mpix. It is an ultra-precise measuring device with high resolution and sensitivity, as well as the option of color and texture mapping, certified following recommendations of German VDI / VDE standards. It allows obtaining information about the geometry and color of any object with geometric accuracy of 0.06 mm.

Fast acquisition of digital data

During the 3D scanning process, the scanning head projects straight lines of white light on the object. The object is placed on a rotary stage to obtain comprehensive information about its geometry from each side. These stripes bend to the shape, and the detector installed inside the device reads this curvature. Afterward, it transmits the collected information to the dedicated SMARTTECH3Dmeasure software used to control the scanner and to post-process measurement data. The application displays information in the form of a point cloud. This cloud represents X, Y, Z spatial coordinates and RGB color information at each point.

SMARTTECH3Dmeasure then cleans the point cloud from so-called measurement noise and unnecessary scans of environmental elements. The next step is to create a triangle mesh that reflects the geometry of the object, and that can be saved in the most universal and popular STL or OBJ formats. After applying the texture, an exact digital copy of the scanned item is ready. When it is necessary, a CAD model is finally created, constituting the technical documentation of the object. The software is not only intuitive and easy to use, but it also allows to automate the

measurement process, which makes the scanning process even easier.

Full technical documentation

One of the most important functions of SMARTTECH3Dmeasure software is dimensioning, which can be used for preparing technical documentation of footwear, as well as for precise so-called flattening of the material, which then goes to the plotter or dies to make the shoe sheathing that is later being attached to the sole. In addition to designing and manufacturing the shoes, the 3D scanner can also be used to make special shoes lasts used for the production of footwear.

Digital warehouse of prototypes and automatic quality control

3D scanning greatly facilitates the creation of new prototypes, which are then attached to an electronic database or archive. It is possible to make changes and improvements later in this model. Having such an archive makes it possible for designers to work remotely, even from different parts of the world. Additionally, apart from the design and production process itself, the comparison of a three-dimensional model with the already manufactured product allows for quick and precise quality control.

Working time reduction

The essence of introducing SMARTTECH 3D scanners into the design process, appreciated by Cesar Idrobo, Yeezy footwear designer and the person responsible for innovation in the project, is to reduce the duration of the entire process from the physical design of a new model, through technical documentation, to the production process. An additional advantage was the ease of use of the equipment. „The 3D Scanner has been a game-changer in my workflow. This technology has allowed the transition of my handcrafted work into a digital form which yields a smooth path between design and development. Adding this device to my repertoire of tools has saved me an extra step of at least 1-2 weeks worth of work. Something else important to point out is that it was easy and fast to learn how the 3D scanner works with the tech support provided. Highly recommended to anyone looking into documenting their work digitally in an accurate manner…” said the designer.

CASE STUDYThe use of a SMARTTECH 3D scanner in the production of the footwear
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