Texturing 453 Surfaces of a Shoe Sole: Discover Texturing

2 min read

3D-printed shoe sole with multiple textures

Shoe manufacturers often use a master to cast the soles of the shoe. Instead of creating a mold for each type of sole, the bigger shoe manufacturers nowadays 3D print the soles. Manually assigning a texture to each surface area takes a lot of time. In addition, you end up with huge STL file sizes that your computer can no longer handle.

Materialise software guides the shoe manufacturer from design to printed part in a time- and cost-efficient way, allowing them to take full advantage of the disruptive possibilities of 3D printing.

3D-printed shoe sole with multiple textures
This shoe sole, 3D printed in stereolithography by Materialise, provides shoe manufacturers with a detailed master for casting.

A 3D-printed, textured master for casting

Discover how four solutions from the Materialise software backbone give shoe manufacturers a shortcut to repair the worst file errors, texture hundreds of surfaces, automatically generate support and finally keep those huge data sets manageable.

Texturing: 80% time savings

Applying textures one by one demands massive amounts of time when you need to texture around 1,000 surfaces. With the texturing module of Materialise 3-matic, hundreds of surfaces that need the same type of texture can be grouped in surface sets and textured with one click. In this shoe sole 453 surfaces were nicely textured and aligned, saving at least 80% of time compared to 1-by-1 texturing.

The bottom of a 3D-printed shoe sole with textured shoe treads

Data preparation: automatically repair

To print the shoe in the most cost-efficient way, we created a hollow version of the model and added holes for resin drainage. In addition, Materialise Magics was used to position the shoe sole on the build platform in an optimal way.

A 3D model of a shoe sole

Automatic support generation: save 20 minutes per part

Manually generating support is a very labor-intensive job.  With the automated support generation tool e-Stage, the support preparation time was significantly reduced. Using Materialise e-Stage can reduce data preparation time by up to 20 minutes per part, depending on the complexity and size of the part. The support was not limited to the outside, but also supported certain hollow regions inside the shoe. Thanks to minimal contact points, the finishing time was reduced as well.

A 3D model of shoe tread patterns

Slice-based data processing: 5.8MB instead of 2GB

Applying textures or structures to a model can easily result in very large STL files which become difficult to manipulate, store and transfer. Thanks to the slice-based  technology  of  the  Build  Processor,  the  demanding  triangle creating to  an  intermediate  STL  file  was  skipped. The  desired  geometry  was  generated  directly  onto  the  slices, thus avoiding  large data. 453 surfaces were textured on a 5.8 MB size STL file, resulting in a slice stack of only 50 MB. Thanks to the slice-based technology an STL file of around 2 GB could be avoided.

A detailed 3D image of the shoe sole and shoe tread pattern

The final result was this stunning textured master!

3D-printed shoe sole with multiple textures

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