Project Challenge update: 3D printed sole molds
As we continue to develop our Project Challenge climbing shoe, we have found there are many obstacles to creating our fresh take on the modern climbing shoe. The 3D Printing Store with their HQ here in Denver has helped create a mold from our sole that was designed by hand. They scanned the sole, cleaned it up around the edges, and printed out the sample mold you see here (the 1:1 mold is currently being printed).
We chose to go this route as we can pour a flexible plastic material in to the mold and have a sole ready overnight. We are trying to keep costs as low as possible during this prototype stage, so this seemed to be the best fit to have an accurate and functional sole to use during testing. The main advantage is that if the sole does not work as expected, we can create another sole by hand and go through this process again - much cheaper and faster than having a professional shoe manufacturer create samples every time we need a small change.
As mentioned before, this mold is only a small sample to see if everything printed out OK. We also don't want to give away all of our secrets quite yet, so we hope that you enjoy this teaser!