The mass customization of sandal outsoles for female size outliers utilizing parametric modeling and 3D printing

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Patterson, Robert A.
Ball, Roger
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For many women, finding proper fitting footwear is difficult and customized footwear has been out of reach for most due to high costs and lack of access. Standard shoe sizing has historically been based off of an average male foot size, resulting in a poor fit when scaled or graded to create women’s sizes. This problem is especially prevalent in casual and athletic footwear where a men’s last is used to produce women’s footwear. This problem is compounded for women who fall far to either side of the bell curve, 10th and 90th percentile, where shoes in their sizes are less common. The rise in mass customization through technologies such as 3D printing has the possibility to change this. This study aims to determine if a customized sandal outsole can be produced by a parametric CAD model and 3D printed for females whose foot lengths fall into the <10% and >90%, according to global CAESAR (Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource) data. This project proposes a parametric sandal outsole model that will accommodate sizing outliers at both ends of traditional women’s shoe sizes. Subjects measured their foot width and foot length and the results were used as inputs into the parametric outsole model. The resulting model was 3D printed and test fitted on the subjects who rated the fit. Results indicated an acceptable fit of the prototype footwear.
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