1. Shoe mold craft
1.1 Traditional shoe mold craft
1.2 Digital shoe mold technology
2. The advantages of digital shoe mold technology
3. Some questions you want to know
4. If you cooperate with us
1. Shoe mould craft
Usually refers to the molds for sports shoes, beach shoes, slippers, rubber shoes, etc., among which sports shoes are the main ones. Mold refers to various molds and tools used in industrial production to obtain the required products by injection molding, blow molding, extrusion, die-casting or forging molding, smelting, stamping, and stretching.
Shoes outsole mold
The trend of sports shoes has paid attention to shape design and popularity, function and comfort have also become one of the focuses. Especially for the outsoles, major brand-name sports shoe manufacturers have spared no effort to invest in research and development and innovation. Outsole mold factories are therefore faced with the need for shoe-shaped free-form surface changes, shortened product life cycles, and improved quality; to meet market demand, it is necessary to improve shoe outsole molds’ design and manufacturing technology significantly.
Sports shoe outsole materials generally include RB (rubber), RS (foamed rubber), TPR (thermoplastic elastomer), EVA (ethylene-vinyl acetate copolymer, including IMEVA injection molding EVA and CMEVA traditional secondary molding EVA), PU, TR, BR, TPU, PVC, etc. Due to the continuous development of modern technology, many new materials are being applied to the research and development of shoe outsoles.
Outsole molds require different designs due to different materials. RB, EVA, TPR, and other significant materials are the most widely used molds. Generally speaking, shoe outsole molds are injection molds. There are some exceptions. For example, the production process of CMEVA is a combination of injection and cold pressing, and some parts are blow molded.
1.1 Traditional shoe outsole mould craft
1The customer places an order, signs a PI
2Send Shoes outsole mold design
3Production arrangements, specific technical requirements
4Wood mold processing (After the shoe mold is completed in the design stage, a full-size wooden mold is usually processed with substitute wood as raw material for confirmation and subsequent comparison of the finished product) 7-10 working days. Show wood mold to clients and discuss modification, new wood molds get confirmed to proceed
5Casting or NC machining
6Machining, including plane milling, drilling, etc.
7Mold clamping and adjusting
10Chemical Ecthing texture
11make out the outsole sample
(2) Traditional shoe outsole mold design
Shoe outsole mold design is an essential part of the shoe mold production process. The shoe outsole mold design process is mainly divided into:
1Develop and take the version, mainly to determine the die plate, profile plate, sidewall curve, etc.
2Make 2D engineering drawings
3Build 3D model
4Write CAM program
5Carved wooden mold
6Wooden mold modification confirmation
7Dismantle the mold and separate the different materials to open the mold
8Shrinkage, other materials have different shrinkage rates, especially the shrinkage rate of IMEVA needs to consider its extra width and thickness to set different shrinkage rates
9Processing a complete set of wooden production molds
10Put a complete set of mass production
- Several essential factors in the design process of traditional shoe molds:
1Mold material, specifications, weight, number of cavities
2The direction of the parting surface is determined
3Design of feed port and runner
4Creation of exhaust method, exhaust hole , or vacuum channel
5Hole position for mold clamping, mold clamping , and positioning
(4) The process of making traditional shoe outsole molds
1First, select the manufacturing mold of the corresponding style of shoe outsole mold.
2Clamp the mold up and down, melt the well-matched rubber sole and inject it into the shoe outsole mold.
3Cool down and finalize, complete the production, and remove the finished injection mold.
4After cooling, remove the mold cover.
5Use the solution spray gun to aim at the gap of the mold and pull the wrench along the track.
6Take out the loose shoe outsole mold from the mold.
7Continue to use the solution spray gun on the gap between the inner mold and the outer mold of the shoe outsole mold, and pull the wrench along the track.
8Carefully separate the outer and inner molds.
9The outer mold effect of the shoe outsole mold.
10The inner mold effect of the shoe outsole mold.
11Put the shoe outsole mold into the mold engraving machine and set the data.
12Wait for the machine to process the shoe outsole mold finely.
13Finally completed shoe outsole mold.
(5)The disadvantages of traditional shoe outsole mold manufacturing measurement methods
1Manual measurement efficiency is low, and there are measurement errors and human errors, which affect the 2D rendering results and cause 3D data distortion;
2There are many dead angles and complex surface measurements, which is challenging to depict the pattern lines accurately;
3The 3D model production cycle is long, low accuracy, unstable quality.
In the traditional shoe-making market, the production of shoe outsole molds from design to a pair of finished shoe outsole molds requires programming, CNC, machining, mold repair, mold trial, and etching. The processing procedures are complex, the production cycle is long, and the cost is high. The renewal and replacement of shoe companies’ products in the fashion industry play a vital role in market competition. The application of 3D printing in shoe companies has dramatically simplified the production process of shoe outsole molds, greatly improved production efficiency. It will continue to increase the speed of shipments and new products.
1.2 Digital shoe mold technology
(1) 3D shoe outsole mold printing process
3D printing outsole mold manufacturing innovation + 3D printing definition and application + 3D printing technology have achieved rapid development recently, “Rapid+Prototyping, referred to as RP,” “Additive+Manufacturing, Abbreviated as AM),” “Solid+Free-form+Fabrication+” and other different names express the characteristics of this technology from different aspects. 3D printing (“RP/AM”) technology is a technology in which CAD (computer-aided design) data is used to make physical models through molding equipment and material superimposition. This molding process no longer requires traditional tools, fixtures, and machine tools to print products of any shape, effectively shortening the production cycle of products, improving product quality, and reducing production costs. It is currently the most cutting-edge and mainstream on the market. One of the production methods.
Using 3D printing to make shoe outsole molds is not as complicated as the traditional way, and there are few processes. It only takes three steps to print a shoe outsole mold.
①Use a 3D scanner to scan and create a three-dimensional image file
②Using three-dimensional data to build a model
(2) Technical characteristics of 3D printing
1Highly flexible production: It can manufacture 3D entities of any complex shape. If you want to produce parts models of different forms, you only need to change the CAD model, re-adjust and set the parameters.
2The CAD model is directly driven, design and manufacturing are highly integrated: 3D printing technology realizes the seamless connection of CAD/CAM and truly learns the integration of design and manufacturing. It is a typical embodiment of digital creation and manufacturing technology.
3The production cost has apparent characteristics of constancy: the product’s price has almost nothing to do with the batch and the complexity of the product.
4The high degree of automation is fully automatic, without manual intervention, and can realize unattended production.
- Current status and application trend of 3D printing shoe outsole mold manufacturing
“RP” and “AM” are collective names for 3D printing additive manufacturing. With the development requirements of the industry, 3D printing has begun to transform from “prototype production” to “real manufacturing.” This is the overall development tone of the 3D printing industry and the irreversible development trend of 3D printing technology. As far as the application side of the shoe industry is concerned, most of the brand manufacturers, mold factories, and shoe factories currently mainly apply in the aspects of “wooden model,” “sample model,” “casting prototype,” and so on. With the gradual improvement of the process, functional light-curing with the emergence of materials, the application of SLA light-curing 3D library printing technology has gradually shifted from “RP” rapid prototyping to “AM” manufacturing production. 3D printing is no longer defined as research and development equipment but is genuinely used as a manufacturing process application at the forefront of the market. At present, some companies in the shoe industry have begun to use this technology and materials for direct mold production. We call this “3D printing rapid mold “the most meaningful embodiment of 3D printing additive manufacturing. The emergence of 3D printing rapid molds can quickly and accurately manufacture products with arbitrarily complex structures, thereby realizing the “free manufacturing” of parts, solving the formation of many complex structural features, significantly reducing the processing procedures, and shortening the product listing cycle.
The functionalization of 3D printing materials determines the functionalization of products. By accumulating industry application experience, light-curing materials are currently used in the industrial end with properties close to engineering plastics and high-transparent acrylic light-curing materials used in try-on applications. Highly flexible light-curing materials, high-temperature-resistant light-curing materials that replace molds, etc.
3D printing technology is revolutionizing the manufacturing model of traditional shoe outsole molds, and it also promotes the further development of the entire industry. Manufacturing has begun to enter the era of modeless mass production. It is applied because commercialization and cost are more suitable for market needs. The outbreak of the footwear market has arrived, and a new round of competitive advantages is apparent.
2. Advantages of digital shoe mold technology
(1) Digital texture technology
The traditional shoe mold texture process is to send the shoe mold to a professional texture factory and use anti-corrosion tape to cover the parts that do not need to the texture. According to the requirements, compare the texture type and determine the spray spot size for spray pitting. Using the Uniontech3D printing system, the pictures can be directly converted into skin textures and pasted on the three-dimensional data. The fine patterns can be printed together with the entire shoe mold. The precision is high, the surface quality of the finished product is good, the production process is shortened, and the cost is reduced.
(2) Production efficiency
In addition to low-cost solutions, shoe outsole mold processing and production have stringent requirements on the various indicators of printed products. The light-curing variable spot technology of the FM/FL series equipment has been repeatedly practiced, and the processing efficiency is on the original basis. Increased by more than two times. The FM700 dual laser light curing equipment is online, and it achieves the efficiency of a size 42 outsole of 1.16H (positioned at 45 degrees).
In addition to the speed requirements, there are also extremely high surface quality and finish standards. To improve the surface quality and processing accuracy, the layer thickness is 5-7micron, and the printing accuracy is within 10micron.
(4) Shrinkage rate
The shrinkage rate of the product is controlled within three thousandths. All products can be stored in an indoor environment for three years.
After “CE” certification, the hardware selection and configuration are strictly controlled to ensure the overall stability of the system operation.
(6) Control system
The equipment control system adopts RSCONV5, which is intelligent in operation, automatic calibration, automatic fluid replenishment, email & SMS push, full data tracking, etc. The procedure is simple, and the process is controllable.
(7) Replace wooden mold
Print shoe prototypes directly. The dimensional accuracy is higher than that of CNC, the overall cost is lower, and the efficiency is higher. The products produced are more suitable for three-dimensional data to meet application requirements.
(8) Proof of the try-on mold
Highly flexible materials can be used in small-batch production and testing new try-on shoe molds. The comfort and realism are closer to the finished shoes, which significantly shortens the design cycle of shoes and is low in cost.
(9) Look at the sample print
The new shoe type prints to see the sample. The physical object can display design ideas more intuitively and compare and modify the improvement plan. The shortening of the design cycle directly accelerates the rate of change of new products on the market, which is crucial to the development of the entire market and the promotion of sales.
(10) Production casting
Instead of CNC machining models, they are used in casting to improve the quality of 3D printing products and reduce material loss.
(11) Quick mold
PU rapid mold instead of copper mold: high-temperature resistance of 120 degrees, single mold frame can be printed for PU material infusion. In the development stage, the first physical product can be quickly obtained so that the designer can quickly confirm the appearance, which is faster and more convenient than the original NC processing model.
3.Some questions you want to know
(1)What is 3D printing rapid mold?
1Get real injection molded products within three to five days
2You can use real injection molded products to verify your design faster
(2)What can 3D printing rapid molds do for you?
1Get the real product within 5 days, not the model
2Shorten product verification cycle
3Saving mold costs for small-batch products, no machining, no soft mold
4Get accurate performance data in the product design stage
53D printing ability to fillet is stronger than CNC. If only a small number of parts are needed, 3D printed molds are more accessible to design than machined molds
6Beyond the limitations of traditional thinking
(3)What are the benefits of 3D printing rapid molds?
1The mold production cycle is shortened
Imagine if you can provide users with final parts in just a few days to verify the design concept, put them into use directly, and make the time to market faster than competitors. What will it be like in this sense? 3D printing molds accelerate product development progress, improve flexibility and adaptability, shorten the entire product development cycle, and become the source of innovation.
2Reduced manufacturing costs
Based on primary three-dimensional data, importing equipment for unattended production significantly reduces labor costs. 3D printing can also quickly produce accurate molds within a few hours, which positively affects the production process and profits, especially when the product needs to be modified after the production starts. The flexibility of 3D printing can give countless products. Update iterations, and reduce the cost of design modification.
3Adding more functional
3D printing to the end product can infinitely improve the design of the mold. It can integrate design and reduce the number of parts, which significantly simplifies the product assembly process and reduces tolerances, making it highly functional. End products are manufactured faster and have fewer product defects.
The application of 3D printing technology is no longer in the prototype era. Enterprises do not need to invest a lot of money and time developing and manufacturing traditional molds before new products are launched. At the same time, it can produce molds quickly, is more accurate and environmentally friendly, does not cause raw material waste, noise, and chemical pollution, and dramatically improves the product’s ability to resist risks.
3D printing technology is revolutionizing the manufacturing model of traditional shoe outsole molds, and it also promotes the further development of the entire industry. Manufacturing has begun to enter the era of modeless mass production. It is applied under the premise that commercialization and cost are more suitable for market needs. The outbreak of the footwear market has arrived, and a new round of competitive advantages is apparent.
4.If you cooperate with us
You have a preliminary understanding of this technology through the above detailed and professional introduction. If you are still a bit unclear, I will use the most concise and straightforward sentence to introduce you to the benefits of this technology:
First of all, saving your money is the first benefit you can see. Generally speaking, in the early stage of shoemaking, research and development, mold making, proofing, etc., plus repeated modifications, are not small expenses. In addition, there is also a long R&D cycle, which is all about the burning of money. Therefore, if you cooperate with us and use 3D printed shoe sole molds, it will significantly reduce the time and capital costs.
Secondly, we all know that a logo is essential for a brand. It represents the image and value of the brand and is an important symbol that conveys the connotation of the brand. But nowadays, there are more and more imitation goods on the market. It is becoming more and more realistic, and many brand customers cannot distinguish. Not only does it damage their brand value, but it also loses many potential customers, which invisibly reduces their brand influence. So is there any way to solve this problem? Of course, there is. Our 3D printing sole mold can print exquisite and complex exclusive patterns and engrave the brand logo on the groove. This technology makes the anti-counterfeiting mark a reality and truly achieves anti-counterfeiting! Other imitation goods factories can’t make identical prints and signs at the grooves. Moreover, not only is it anti-counterfeiting, but it also adds technology to the brand and wins the love of more consumers.
Finally, sustainable development has always been a topic of our concern. We all know that shoemaking is a more polluting industry, so we must be environmentally aware and practice it in this process. Our 3D shoe sole mold printing technology can significantly reduce environmental pollution without causing waste of raw materials, noise, and chemical pollution, making the shoe industry one step closer to zero pollution.
All in all, the above three points are the most intuitive and essential advantages. If you are already excited, you can contact us via email to discuss cooperation. If you have any questions, you are also welcome to discuss them with us via email at [email protected].