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Brief Published: 23 Jul 2018

In-Store Customisation 2.0: Ecco 3D-Prints Bespoke Mid-Soles

Ecco, Shanghai

Danish footwear brand Ecco's Innovation Lab is taking personalisation to new heights with its Quant-U project. Consumers can co-create a digital model of their feet in under 30 seconds and pick up personalised 3D-printed mid-soles just two hours later.

The three-step process involves first scanning consumers' feet using an in-store wearable sensor device that measures pressure points as well as temperature and humidity, to gauge their individual needs. A digital footprint is then established (and saved in the brand's database), followed by in-store production using a state-of-the-art 3D printer. 

For now, the project involves customising only one part of the shoe – replacing standard polyurethane-foam (PU) mid-soles with bespoke 3D-printed silicone ones to ensure individual fit and greater comfort. However, it's a big move that paves the way for footwear customisation and 3D printing to be available to consumers on a mass scale.

The project debuted to the public in April 2018 at Ecco's Amsterdam W-21 store (as a pilot project) and has since been showcased across the globe, including at Milan Design Week and the brand's new E-Studio store in Shanghai. The technology is currently being developed before a full roll-out, with previews planned in different countries including the UK and Sweden before the end of 2018.

We talk more about how brands are evolving their customisation strategies in the Finishing Salons section of our Brand Spaces 2018/19 report, as well as in Rapid Custom Retail: Yun Eyewear Flagship, Berlin and Retail Footwear Focus.