Re: RP & Footware

Date: Wed Dec 03 1997 - 02:24:36 EET

RE RP and footwear esp ski boots:

In regards to the ski boots there are actually several methods. Custom
insoles are routinely made by having someone step on a warmed piece of
thermoplastic. Custom liners are made by injecting foam into a sealed
bladder/liner while the wearer is in the boot. The wearer is expected to
stand still for about 1/2 hour while the foam hardens. It is advisable
to be quite drunk before having this done as the foam reaction is
exothermic and generates quite a lot of presure and heat in the boot.
More than one person I know has passed out from the experience. After
"breaking in" the boot for about ten days, they are supposed to be quite
comfortable. I would not know, never having tried it.

Obviously some cleaver stick saw a market in RP and has made a device
which has been up here in the mountians for about 5 years. The boot
purchaser stands on a plate which has (I would think) about 100 physical
sensors. These are little rods that come up through holes in the plate.
The system then automatically images the foot using the physical sensors
translating the data into a pressure and size map which appears on a
computer screen. The bootfitter can then make adjustments to the map
on line before sending the file to a small milling device. The mill is a
small box about 12x24x24 with a single bit 3 axis router( I think). the
opperator puts in a blank and the mill generates a custom insole.

The system is supposed to be good at a standardizing fit parameters and
creates a fairly good insole. Some bench work is usually still necessary
to get the insole in the boot and do a little finish work. More than one
customer terminal usualy feeds each mill.

If anyone is interested in who made this box, please e-mail me directly
and I will try and find one in town and get the manufacturer. I know the
big shop that used the system went broke.....


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