RE: RP machine for manufacturing shoe lasts

From: Michael Feygin (
Date: Wed Mar 29 2000 - 20:32:50 EEST

Helisys has at least 10 machines in operations involved in the shoe
industry. Most of them use the machine for both shoe sole manufacturing
(these parts are usually intricate and have sharp cornered features,
which would not lend themselves well into CNC processing) and shoe last
manufacturing (last is relatively smooth part representing upper part of
the foot, and can often be produced on CNC). Parts often are used as
patterns for preproduction and production tooling. The usual speed of
the machine in the production of a single last would be in the range of
3 hours per vertical inch with .005" layers. If the last is 4" high, it
should take approximately 12 hours to produce it. Obviously multiple
parts produced simultaneously will take longer overall, but less per
One of the specifics of shoe industry is that it often requires to
produce grading in a variety of sizes (up to 12) for left and right
foot. On 22"x32" platform of LOM 2030H machine manufacturers can
perform simultaneous production of these parts. As to the cost of the
process one needs to take into account not only the cost of the machine,
but the cost of the materials. LOM paper is 2-3$ per pound.

Michael Feygin
Chairman and CTO

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2000 6:40 AM
Subject: Re: RP machine for manufacturing shoe lasts

In a message dated 00-03-28 20:33:11 EST, you write:

 I've seen work done for shoe lasts using CNC milling...take a look at I'm not sure of the time requirements, but it
 seems like it would be faster than 38 hours...


CNC sounds like one possible way to go, and the suggestion of LOM is
good one
too. However, LOM doesn't seem to meet the important speed or cost

>From what people have been saying here about the Objet machine, it
like it would be the only existing RP method that would meet all the
criteria: cost, accuracy - and also possibly speed from what's been
The material is cured acrylic polymer so it probably can be reworked
with a
file nicely, although not as familiar in feel to the craftspeople as LOM


I haven't sat down and gone through the alternatives too methodically so

maybe one of the other methods could also hack it. Maybe the Genie
Fabber...Is it fast, cheap and accurate Marshall?

Ed Grenda
Castle Island Co.
19 Pondview Road
Arlington, MA 02474 USA
781-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

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