Form3L or Fuse1?


#1

Hi,

I am a shoe designer thats currenly going back and forth between the Form3l and the Fuse1 for outsole/midsole production. I need my end result to be something like 95-105A hardness TPU that can be worn/stressed all day, year long. My dillema is that I’m not sure which printing method (SLA or SLS) could achieve the durability I’m looking for.

On paper, the detail of the Form2, & 3 are exactly what I need. People are telling me to opt for SLS printing services, even though Adidas and Puma have released 3D Printed outsole shoes with resin-based printers.

^^ This leads me to believe I might be able to get away with using SLA printing for my production in this instance as opposed to the powder-based SLS stuff.

Interested in you guys’ thoughts.


#2

Hello,
as you probably know SLA is already being used for shoe production:
Formlabs
Carbon & Adidas

The advantage of SLS is that you can print without supports, the powders are more expensive though and the surface is not as smooth as with SLA. And the Fuse1 isn’t available yet while the Form3 is.
Why do you want a Form3L? Do you plan to print shoes for very big feet?


#3

Hi, the resin developed by FormLabs for New Balance (see link above) seems to be proprietary to them (understandably).

But you can contact FormLabs with your requirements and see if they are willing to develop something with you - asking doesn’t cost anything :wink:

The “flexible” and “elastic” resins are both not suitable for what you want to do, which is end-use parts if I understood this correctly. “Flexible” is a bit soft and tears very easily, “elastic” is much too soft.

The Fuse 1 won’t be out for some time, plus it will only print Nylon at the start, and nobody knows if it will ever print TPU, and which kind.

There are TPUs in your range that can be printed with FDM printers, but they tend to have quite a slippery surface (again, understandably, because the filament has to slide through all the feed parts and tubes), but that may be worth a try.


#4

Hmmm

what about the Durable resin? isn’t that closer to 95A-105A TPU or does that not have any bend or flex to it? I figured Flexible and Elastic would be too soft. They remind me more of NinjaFlex than they do classic TPU filament.

There are 3rd party resin TPUs i believe I would probably steer towards those. I am more concerned if just a SLA printed part could be walked on and ran if it’s filled more than anything.


#5

Durable does have some bend to it, but thicker parts are still quite rigid. It’ shore hardness will be way out of range of the “A” scale (btw, there is no such thing as “105A”, strictly speaking - the A scale/testing method goes only to 100, which means no indentation at all with the defined weight and test needle. Technically, all rigid materials are “100A”. For more rigid materials, the “D” scale and testing method is the appropriate one.)


#6

Not sure why you would want to print shoe soles. Its glacially slow and ridiculously expensive.
Are you making one-off bespoke shoes?

If solely ( har) for prototyping- then you would be far better served by printing a MOLD for the flexible sole and then you can use the one mold to cast multiple different urethanes of varying hardnesses.

For thermoplastic urethanes, you could print an injection tool in High Temp resin for a short run injection tool.

The fuse- as far as I know will only do metal- which would be a good choice if you intend to print injection or gum stock stamp tooling.


#7

Of course that’s true for “conventional” forms, but if you want more design freedom and print, for example, lattice structures, then you won’t come very far with a mold.

The Fuse1 will (once it does come out) print Nylon, not metal.