3D Printed FootwearConsumer Products

HP silently took the Fitstation insole platform off the market

The company continues to work directly with footwear brands such as Brooks and Superfeet

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In 2017, HP, in collaboration with Brooks and Superfeet created FitStation, a platform that enabled users to personalize their insoles, sandals and running shoes based on individual biomechanics. It was presented as an innovative hardware and software platform that captures 3D scans of the foot, foot pressure measurements and gait analysis to create a one-of-a-kind digital profile of each foot. Fitstation was the world’s first end-to-end solution providing individual off-the-shelf shoe and insole recommendations, 3D printed insoles and individualized custom footwear. The system used HP Multi Jet Fusion printing technology to manufacture a 3D printed insole. While the platform was revolutionary in many ways, HP has now silently pulled the plug on it, while continuing to work directly with both Brooks and Superfeet on their 3D printed footwear projects.

The partnership with Brooks Running, unveiled in 2023, looked to disrupt the performance running footwear market. The first innovation resulting from the collaboration was the Brooks Exhilarate-BlueLine running shoes.

Footwear developed by the Brooks BlueLine Lab is at the forefront of harnessing technology, biomechanical research, engineering and design to advance the power of running shoes. The Lab’s newest innovation, the Exhilarate-BL shoe is designed, engineered, and manufactured in partnership with HP, using the company’s 3D printing solution.

HP silently took the Fitstation insole platform off the market but continues to work with footwear brands such as Brooks and Superfeet
The Brooks Exhilarate-BlueLine running shoes made with HP.

As such, the Brooks Exhilarate-BL features 3DNA, a 3D printed midsole technology that delivers a propulsive, bouncy ride. More than that, it has also been specifically designed and tuned to groups of sizes based on runner data so that each runner has the optimal cushioning and spring with each stride.  HP independently validated that Multi Jet Fusion 3D printing technology produces midsoles that deliver higher energy return than 90% of the midsoles in running shoes on the market today.

Brooks released a limited number of Exhilarate-BL pairs, as part of a test-and-learn program, to select Brooks Wear Testers and Brooks Run Club loyalty members who have synced their wearable devices through Brooks’ platform, in partnership with DashLX. Through wearables, Brooks is able to access runner data including their stride lengths, cadences, and other factors influenced by height and weight that will help inform future iterations of Brooks shoes featuring 3DNA.

HP silently took the Fitstation insole platform off the market but continues to work with footwear brands such as Brooks and Superfeet

With Superfeet, HP continues to work on the ME3D project. This line of custom insoles, introduced in 2017, continues to leverage HP’s 3D foot-scanning solution and MultiJet Fusion 3D printing technology. Powered by HP, with advanced submillimeter-definition 3D scanning and biomechanical pressure analysis, Superfeet analyzes the way feet move and interact with the ground to create a fully individualized, 3D printed shape.

ME3D insoles are thus as unique as the individuals themselves, including capturing the idiosyncrasies between the way each of the left and right feet moves. Created to match the geometry of each foot for truly personalized support, ME3D custom orthotic insoles are calibrated to each foot’s dynamic pressure pattern, with five independent support zones that adapt and respond to the way a person moves. They are available in two style choices, MED3D and the newly launched ME3D Max, for a perfect comfort feel. The resulting product is individualized for a person’s foot in-motion, delivering unparalleled, truly unique comfort and a next-level fit. ME3D insoles are designed in-store, then printed and shipped directly to consumers.

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Davide Sher

Since 2002, Davide has built up extensive experience as a technology journalist, market analyst and consultant for the additive manufacturing industry. Born in Milan, Italy, he spent 12 years in the United States, where he completed his studies at SUNY USB. As a journalist covering the tech and videogame industry for over 10 years, he began covering the AM industry in 2013, first as an international journalist and subsequently as a market analyst, focusing on the additive manufacturing industry and relative vertical markets. In 2016 he co-founded London-based VoxelMatters. Today the company publishes the leading news and insights websites VoxelMatters.com and Replicatore.it, as well as VoxelMatters Directory, the largest global directory of companies in the additive manufacturing industry.

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