Cobbler Technologies is a startup from Maine focused on providing an advanced 3D printing process for the footwear industry. Recently, the company was able to secure a round of equity financing from Boston investors to bring its technology to market.
The technology, called Atomised Particle Deposition or 3DAPD, allows for depositing layers of fine material particles through nozzles. These particles provide a smoother surface finish compared to most other 3D printing technologies. Moreover, the printer combines multiple materials on-the-fly. According to Cobbler Technologies, their proof of concept 3D printer created a shoe sole featuring 25 different density foam layers.
“Lots of shoe manufacturers use 3D printers, but only to make prototypes,” CEO AND Co-founder Andrew Katon told the Portland Press Herald. “Ours is designed to be integrated into the manufacturing process. We have 25 different layers of materials that we can change on the fly without interrupting the manufacturing process.”
Initially, Cobbler Technologies claims, the printing speed will be more than suitable for mid-sized production runs, with full-scale production runs in future.
Footwear manufacturers including New Balance, Nike and adidas have already been using 3D printing technology to create running shoes with custom soles. Cobbler intends to work with athletic shoe manufacturers to address specific problems within their production operation before setting up their own 3D printing facility.
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