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Publication numberUS20080104778 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/869,580
Publication dateMay 8, 2008
Filing dateOct 9, 2007
Priority dateOct 9, 2006
Publication number11869580, 869580, US 2008/0104778 A1, US 2008/104778 A1, US 20080104778 A1, US 20080104778A1, US 2008104778 A1, US 2008104778A1, US-A1-20080104778, US-A1-2008104778, US2008/0104778A1, US2008/104778A1, US20080104778 A1, US20080104778A1, US2008104778 A1, US2008104778A1
InventorsStephan Drake, Peter Turner
Original AssigneeDrake Powderworks, Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Methods and Systems for Creating Custom Hard Shelled Footwear
US 20080104778 A1
Abstract
Methods for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear are provided. The method may include determining a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The method may also include determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents at least a portion of an exterior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The method may further include fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The method may moreover include fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear in the mold shape.
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Claims(20)
1. A method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear, wherein the method comprises:
determining a first set of data, wherein the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot;
determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, wherein the second set of data represents at least a portion of an exterior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear;
fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data; and
fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear in the mold shape.
2. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein determining the first set of data comprises performing a three-dimensional digital scan of the foot.
3. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein determining the second set of data is further based at least in part on at least one selection from a group consisting of:
at least one offset;
a thickness of a liner to be used in the hard shelled footwear;
a fastening system to be used in the hard shelled footwear; and
a thickness of material to be used to fabricate the hard shelled footwear.
4. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 3, wherein the second set of data is further based at least in part on at least the thickness of material to be used to fabricate the hard shelled footwear, and wherein the thickness of material to be used to fabricate the hard shelled footwear is variable in different portions of the hard shelled footwear.
5. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 4, wherein the thickness of material is about 1 millimeter in some portions and about 2 millimeters in some portions of the hard shelled footwear.
6. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein determining the second set of data is further based at least in part on a selection from a group consisting of:
an amount of space required around a toe area for comfort of a user;
a space occupied by a heating system;
a space occupied by an insulating system; and
a space occupied by a sole cushion.
7. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein determining the second set of data comprises using a three-dimensional modeling software program and an automated sub-routine.
8. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein fabricating the mold shape comprises using a fabrication apparatus, and wherein the fabrication apparatus is selected from a group consisting of a selection from a group consisting of:
a three-dimensional printer;
a stereolithography machine;
a rapid prototyping machine;
a solid freeform fabrication machine; and
a bladder molding system or a pressure bag system.
9. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear comprises a selection from a group consisting of:
using carbon fiber construction system;
using a laminate vacuum molding system;
using a fiber-reinforced thermoset resin system;
using a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin system;
using an un-reinforced thermoplastic resin system; and
using a prepreg epoxy system.
10. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein the method further comprises at least one selection from a group consisting of:
coupling fastening systems to the piece of hard shelled footwear;
coupling wear plates to the piece of hard shelled footwear; and
coupling binding interface elements to the piece of hard shelled footwear.
11. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 1, wherein the determining the first set of data occurs remotely from at least one of determining the second set of data, fabricating the mold shape, and fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear.
12. A method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear, wherein the method comprises:
determining a first set of data, wherein the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot;
determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, wherein the second set of data represents the interior volume of a piece of hard shelled footwear;
fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data; and
fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear around the mold shape.
13. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 12, wherein determining the second set of data is further based at least in part on a thickness of a liner to be used in the hard shelled footwear.
14. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 12, wherein determining the second set of data is further based at least in part on a space occupied by a sole cushion.
15. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 12, wherein fabricating the mold shape comprises using a stereolithography machine.
16. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 12, wherein fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear comprises using a prepreg epoxy system.
17. The method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 12, wherein the method further comprises coupling fastening systems to the piece of hard shelled footwear.
18. A system for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear, wherein the system comprises:
a scanning apparatus configured to determine a first set of data, wherein the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot;
a computer configured to determine a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, wherein the second set of data represents at least a portion of an exterior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear;
a fabrication apparatus configured to fabricate a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data; and
a molding system configured to fabricate the piece of hard shelled footwear around or in the mold shape.
19. The system for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 18, wherein the second set of data also represents at least a portion of an interior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear.
20. The system for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear of claim 18, wherein the scanning apparatus is remotely located from at least one of the fabrication apparatus and the molding system.
Description
    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to Provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 60/828,712 filed Oct. 9, 2006, entitled “METHODS AND SYSTEMS FOR CREATING CUSTOM HARD SHELLED FOOTWEAR,” the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference, for all purposes, as if fully set forth herein.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This invention relates generally to methods of creating footwear. More specifically the invention relates to creating custom shaped hard shelled footwear.
  • [0003]
    Typical hard shelled footwear known in the art (referred generally to as “boots” hereinafter) is made in various sizes, where each size is made to accommodate feet (hereinafter understood to also include at least some portion of the lower leg) within a range of certain sizes and shapes through the use of a compressible foam liner. The compressible foam liner usually has outer dimensions to match the inner dimension of the boot and inner dimensions which allow for the range of feet size and shapes. To allow for a range of feet size and shapes to fit in the liner, the liner compresses as needed between the boot and the foot. In areas where a portion of the foot is large with respect to the corresponding portion of the boot, the liner may be compressed more than in areas where a portion of the foot is small with respect to the corresponding portion of the boot.
  • [0004]
    This design has multiple problems. First, smaller feet may not fill all portions of a liner, leaving voids between the foot and the liner. This may result in lack of responsiveness, feel and power transfer in the boot during movement, in addition to lack of comfort. Second, even if a foot exactly fills all portions of the liner, the liner may have a substantial thickness, so as to be able to accommodate a range of slightly larger feet. This may result in a lack of responsiveness, feel and power transfer in the boot during movement, as the liner compresses before motion is transferred between boot and foot. Third, a foot may overfill portions of the liner, causing extreme compression of the liner where the foot is as large, or nearly as large, as the corresponding interior volume of the boot. This may result in pressure on the foot causing discomfort.
  • [0005]
    One method known in the art which attempts to solve a portion of the problems above is to manufacture a liner that fits exactly to the foot as well as the boot. However, standard sized non-custom boots are still used in this process, so some portions of the liner will remain thicker than others where the interior of the boot is much larger than the foot, degrading performance. Another method known in the art is to take a plaster cast of the foot, and use it to create both the liner and the boot. This method may be suitable where skilled craftsmen are available, but is unsuitable to mass production methods. Embodiments of the present invention solve the aforementioned issues and other problems.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment of the invention, a method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. The method may include determining a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The method may further include determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents at least a portion of an exterior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The method may also include fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The method may moreover include fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear in the mold shape.
  • [0007]
    In another embodiment of the invention, a different method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. The method may include determining a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The method may further include determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents an interior volume of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The method may also include fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The method may moreover include fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear around the mold shape.
  • [0008]
    In another embodiment of the invention, a system for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. The system may include a scanning apparatus, a computer, a fabrication apparatus and/or a molding system. The scanning apparatus may be configured to determine a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The computer may be configured to determine a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents the interior volume of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The fabrication apparatus may be configured to fabricate a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The molding system may be configured to fabricate the piece of hard shelled footwear around or in the mold shape.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0009]
    The present invention is described in conjunction with the appended figures:
  • [0010]
    FIG. 1 is an axonometric view of a three-dimensional scanning system that may be used in embodiments of the invention to scan a foot;
  • [0011]
    FIG. 2 is a screen view of a three-dimensional modeling software program which has loaded data from the three-dimensional scan of the foot;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 3 is a screen view of the three-dimensional modeling software program after an enlarged shape has been created from the three-dimensional scan of the foot which may constitute the inner volume of a boot to be produced using the methods and systems of the invention;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 4 is a block diagram of one method of the invention for creating custom hard shelled footwear;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 5 is a partial exposed side view of a ski boot in which a custom shell has been created using a method of the invention, thereby providing a shell in which at least the inner volume is customized to the shape of a particular foot; and
  • [0015]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram of an exemplary computer system capable of being used in at least some portion of the systems or implementing at least some portion of the methods, of the present invention.
  • [0016]
    In the appended figures, similar components and/or features may have the same numerical reference label. Further, various components of the same type may be distinguished by following the reference label by a letter that distinguishes among the similar components and/or features. If only the first numerical reference label is used in the specification, the description is applicable to any one of the similar components and/or features having the same first numerical reference label irrespective of the letter suffix.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0017]
    The ensuing description provides exemplary embodiments only, and is not intended to limit the scope, applicability or configuration of the disclosure. Rather, the ensuing description of the exemplary embodiments will provide those skilled in the art with an enabling description for implementing exemplary embodiments. It being understood that various changes, additions and deletions may be made in the function and arrangement of elements without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
  • [0018]
    Specific details are given in the following description to provide a thorough understanding of the embodiments. However, it will be understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that the possible embodiments may be practiced without these specific details. For example, systems, processes, and other components may be shown as components in block diagram form in order not to obscure the embodiments in unnecessary detail. In other instances, well-known processes, structures, and techniques may be shown without unnecessary detail in order to avoid obscuring the embodiments.
  • [0019]
    Also, it is noted that individual embodiments may be described as a process which is depicted as a flowchart, a flow diagram, a structure diagram, or a block diagram. Although a flowchart may describe the operations as a sequential process, many of the operations can be performed in parallel or concurrently. In addition, the order of the operations may be re-arranged. in some embodiments, any particular process may not be present. A process is terminated when its operations are completed, but could have additional steps not included in a figure. A process may, for example, correspond to a method or a procedure.
  • [0020]
    The term “machine-readable medium” includes, but is not limited to portable or fixed storage devices, optical storage devices, wireless channels and various other mediums capable of storing, containing or carrying instruction(s) and/or data. A machine-executable instruction may represent a procedure, a function, a subprogram, a program, a routine, a subroutine, a module, a software package, a class, or any combination of instructions, data structures, or program statements. Information, arguments, parameters, data, etc. may be passed, forwarded, or transmitted via any suitable means including memory sharing, message passing, token passing, network transmission, etc.
  • [0021]
    Furthermore, embodiments may be implemented automatically or manually through at least the partial use of hardware, software, firmware, middleware, microcode, hardware description languages, or any combination thereof. When implemented in software, firmware, middleware or microcode, the program code or code segments to perform the necessary tasks may be stored in a machine readable medium. A processor(s) may perform the necessary tasks.
  • [0022]
    In one embodiment of the invention, a method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. Hard shelled footwear may include, merely by way of example, alpine ski boots, telemark ski boots, snowboard boots, mountaineering boots, inline skate boots, speed skates and hockey skates. The method may include determining a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. In some embodiments, determining the first set of data may include performing a three-dimensional digital scan of the foot. Examples of scanning equipment that may be used include, merely by way of example, the A1810 Automated #D Inspection System from ShapeGrabber, the 3dMD from 3Q, the Pedus—3D Foot Scanner from Vitronics, the Next Engine Desktop Scanner or other three-dimensional scanners known in art. Each foot may be scanned, and the method repeated, to create a customized pair of hard shelled footwear.
  • [0023]
    In some embodiments, the method may further include determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents at least a portion of an exterior shape of a piece of hard shelled footwear. In some embodiments, the second set of data may represent the entire exterior shape of the piece of hard shelled footwear, possibly with or without exterior features such as fastening systems. In some embodiments, determining the second set of data may be further based at least in part on at least one offset, possibly to account for the thickness of a liner to be used with the footwear. Other considerations in determining the second set of data may include, at least partly, the shape and configuration of a fastening system to be used on the hard shield footwear and the thickness of a material to be used to fabricate the hard shelled footwear. In some embodiments, the material used to fabricate the hard shelled footwear may be variable in different portions of the hard shelled footwear. Merely by way of example, in some portions of the hard shelled footwear, the material may be about 1 millimeter (0.039 inches) thick, while other portions may be about 2 millimeters (0.079 inches) thick. In some embodiments, the thickness of the material in some portions of the hard shelled footwear may be as much as about 20 millimeters (0.79 inches).
  • [0024]
    In some embodiments, determining the second set of data may include using a three-dimensional modeling software program. The three-dimensional modeling software program may include, merely by way of example, SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, IronCAD, SolidEdge, Alibre Design, CATIA and NX. The first set of data may be loaded into the three-dimensional modeling software to allow a user and/or automated sub-routine to add a certain thickness around at least some portion of the foot shape to account for, merely by way of example, a thickness of a liner to be used with the hard shelled footwear; an amount of space required around a toe area for comfort of a user of the footwear; an amount of space needed for a sole cushion; and/or an amount of space required to equip the footwear with an insulating and/or heating system. Other components and features of the hard shelled footwear not related to the foot shape may be modular, and may be added to the model of the footwear, possibly based on the shape of the foot.
  • [0025]
    In some embodiments, the method may also include fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. Fabricating the mold shape may include, merely by way of example, transmitting the second set of data, or a third set of data derived from the second set of data, to a fabrication apparatus. Merely by way of example, the fabrication apparatus may include a three-dimensional printer, a sterolithography machine, a rapid prototyping machine and/or a solid freeform fabrication machine which may produce the mold shape from such data. The mold shape may represent the size and shape of what may become the exterior of the piece of hard shelled footwear. The mold may be two or more uncoupleable pieces in which the interior, hallow, molding area may be accessed. The two pieces may be held together by clamps another mechanical device, chemical and/or magnetic device. The mold shape may be treated with a compound which makes the more mold shape harder and/or more resilient for use in fabricating the hard shelled footwear.
  • [0026]
    In some embodiments, the method may include fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear within the mold shape. The hard shelled footwear may be made from carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass, a resin compound, an epoxy compound and/or any number of other materials known in the art. Some of these materials may have the advantage of reducing the weight of the hard shelled footwear over traditional thermoplastics sometimes used in the art. In some embodiments, thin thermoplastics may be vacuum formed to further reduce the amount of material, and consequently the amount of weight, required by this method over methods known in the art.
  • [0027]
    In some embodiments, various molding systems may be used to mold the piece of hard shelled footwear including, but not limited to, a bladder molding system, a pressure bag system, a laminate vacuum molding system, an un-reinforced thermoset resin system, a fiber-reinforced thermoplastic resin system and/or a fiber-reinforced thermoset resin system such as a prepreg epoxy system. The type of material and method used to create the piece of hard shelled footwear may be selected to compliment the material of the mold shape. Merely by way of example, certain mold shape materials may be able to maintain their shape and structural integrity under more volatile (high temperature and pressure) fabricating methods, therefore enlarging the types of materials and methods that may be used to fabricate the piece of hard shelled footwear around the mold shape. In some embodiments, a core material, such as Kevlar or fiberglass, may be laid around the outer shape of the mold area, and a resin thereafter applied to harden and bind the material. A bladder, filled with air, may be inserted into the mold and may cause the material and resin to form the hallow shape of the piece of hard shelled footwear. The thickness of the hard shelled footwear may then be equal to the space between the mold and the bladder, and at least nominally the thickness of the core material.
  • [0028]
    In some embodiments, the method may further include coupling fastening systems to the piece of hard shelled footwear. Some examples of fastening systems include buckles, cam locks, ratchet controlled cable systems (e.g. systems produced by Boa Technologies), and eyelets for shoestring type fastening systems. These fastening systems may allow a user of the hard shelled footwear to more easily insert and remove their foot from the footwear, while holding the foot firmly in place during use. In these or other embodiments, the method may also include coupling wear plates and/or binding interface elements to the piece of hard shelled footwear. Wear plates, which may be made from a variety of materials including plastics, polymers, or metal may protect the hard shelled footwear from damage when used with other equipments such as skis and/or snowboards. Merely by way of example, the right side of a left foot piece of footwear may be equipped with a wear plate to guard against a right side piece of footwear or other equipment, for example skis, on the right foot from damaging the left foot piece of footwear. In another example, wear plates may guard against damage from snowboard bindings. In some embodiments binding interface elements may be affixed to the footwear to allow the footwear to interface and couple with bindings on other equipment, for example, alpine skis, telemark skis, and/or snowboards.
  • [0029]
    In some embodiments, different steps of the method may occur remotely from each other. For example, multiple “satellite” locations may exist where feet could be scanned and the first set of data produced. This first data set may then be transmitted to a second location where the second set of data may be determined, the mold shape fabricated and/or the piece of hard shelled footwear fabricated there from. Such arrangements may have the advantage of allowing relatively less expensive scanning systems to be located at many satellite locations, while the more costly fabricating systems to be at one or more centralized location to handle data from all of, or a particular subset of, the satellite locations.
  • [0030]
    Employing methods of the invention, a piece of hard shelled footwear may be quickly created in which a uniform thickness liner may be used to at least limit, if not eliminate, the number of locations where: the liner is over compressed, causing discomfort to the user; and/or under compressed, causing a lack of responsiveness by the footwear to movement by the foot. Also, custom boots may be created without employing costly skilled craftsman and time consuming production methods.
  • [0031]
    In another embodiment of the invention, a different method for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. The method may include determining a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The method may further include determining a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents an interior volume of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The method may also include fabricating a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The method may moreover include fabricating the piece of hard shelled footwear around the mold shape.
  • [0032]
    In another embodiment of the invention a system for creating a piece of hard shelled footwear is provided. The system may include a scanning apparatus, a computer, a fabrication apparatus, and/or a molding system. The scanning apparatus may be configured to determine a first set of data, where the first set of data represents a three-dimensional shape of a foot. The computer may be configured to determine a second set of data based at least in part on the first set of data, where the second set of data represents the interior volume of a piece of hard shelled footwear. The fabrication apparatus may be configured to fabricate a mold shape based at least in part on the second set of data. The molding system may be configured to fabricate the piece of hard shelled footwear around the mold shape.
  • [0033]
    Turning now to FIG. 1, an axonometric view of a three-dimensional scanning system 100 that may be used in embodiments of the invention to scan a foot 110 is shown. A user, possibly assisted by a technician, may place their foot 110 onto a surface 120 which defines the scan zone of scanning apparatus 130. Surface 120 may rotate to various positions about its axis so as to allow scanning apparatus 130 to obtain all of the information necessary to create the first set of data which represents the size and shape of foot 110. The technician may activate scanning apparatus 130 after correctly positioning user's foot 110, and surface 120. Data from scanning apparatus 130 may then be transferred to a computer or other device having a three-dimensional modeling program. In some embodiments, three-dimensional scanning system 100 may have multiple scanning angles, allowing the first set of data to be created without rotation or movement of foot 110 during the scanning process.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 2 shows a screen view 200 of a three-dimensional modeling software program which has loaded data from the three-dimensional scan of the foot 110 to create a digital representation 210 of foot 110. Either a user of the three-dimensional modeling software program, or a software subroutine therein may then add a certain amount of thickness around the shape of digital representation 210 to account for a constant thickness liner to be used with the footwear which is being created. Additionally, the user or subroutine may add other volumes to the digital representation 210 to accommodate such concerns as toe-room, an amount of space for a sole cushion and/or an amount of space for insulation/heating systems. FIG. 3 shows a screen view 300 of the three-dimensional modeling software program after an enlarged shape 310 has been created from the three-dimensional scan/representation 210 of the foot 110, the enlarged shape possibly constituting the inner volume or the outer shape of a boot to be produced using a method of the invention.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 4 shows a block diagram of one method 400 of the invention for creating custom hard shelled footwear. At block 405, a foot of a subject may be scanned. At block 410, a first set of data may be determined from the foot scan, wherein the first set of data may represent the shape of the foot. At block 415, the first data set may be loaded into a three-dimensional software program. At block 420, the three-dimensional software may recreate the foot based on the first set of data. At block 425, a user or sub-routine may enlarge the foot shape to produce a shape which may represent either the inner volume, or the outer shape, of the hard shelled boot to be manufactured. At block 430, a second set of data may be determined which may represent this enlarged shape. At block 435, a mold shape may be fabricated using the second set of data. At block 440, material and resin may be laid in the mold shape (or laid around mold shape in embodiments which produce a male mold shape). A gas filled bladder may thereafter be inserted into the bold shape at block 445. At block 450, the resin may be allowed to harden.
  • [0036]
    At block 455, the hard shelled footwear may be removed from the mold shape. At block 460, various additional components, such as fastening systems, wear plates and/or binding elements, may be coupled with the hard shelled footwear. At block 465 the process may be repeated for the other foot of the subject. In exemplary embodiments, manufacture of both pieces of footwear will occur substantially in parallel, therefore allowing the subject be present for foot scanning only once. The data for each foot may then be processed in parallel to create a set of hard shelled footwear without further assistance by the subject.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 5 shows a partial exposed side view of a ski boot 500 in which a custom shell 510 has been created using a method of the invention thereby providing shell 510 in which at least the inner volume is customized to the shape of foot 110 using a thin constant width liner 520. It may be seen from this drawing how the thickness of both the liner and the hard shell may be thinner because the hard shell is contoured more precisely to the user's foot than a mass production piece of footwear intended for users of only roughly the same foot size. Buckles 530 which allow the foot to enter and exit ski boot 510 are also shown. Binding interface element 540 may be coupled with the bottom of ski boot 500 to allow ski boot 500 to detachably couple with a binding on a ski or other piece of equipment.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 6 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary computer system 600 in which embodiments of the present invention may be implemented. This example illustrates a computer system 600 such as may be used, in whole, in part, or with various modifications, to provide the functions of the scanning apparatus, the three-dimensional modeling software program and computer, the fabrication apparatus, the molding system and/or other components of the invention such as those discussed above. For example, various functions of the scanning apparatus may be controlled by the computer system 600, including, merely by way of example, initiating operations, receiving data, interpreting data, storing data, transmitting data, etc.
  • [0039]
    The computer system 600 is shown comprising hardware elements that may be electrically coupled via a bus 690. The hardware elements may include one or more central processing units 610, one or more input devices 620 (e.g., a mouse, a keyboard, etc.), and one or more output devices 630 (e.g., a display device, a printer, etc.). The computer system 600 may also include one or more storage device 640. By way of example, storage device(s) 640 may be disk drives, optical storage devices, solid-state storage device such as a random access memory (“RAM”) and/or a read-only memory (“ROM”), which can be programmable, flash-updateable and/or the like.
  • [0040]
    The computer system 600 may additionally include a computer-readable storage media reader 650, a communications system 660 (e.g., a modem, a network card (wireless or wired), an infra-red communication device, Blutetooth™ device, cellular communication device, etc.), and working memory 680, which may include RAM and ROM devices as described above. In some embodiments, the computer system 600 may also include a processing acceleration unit 670, which can include a digital signal processor, a special-purpose processor and/or the like.
  • [0041]
    The computer-readable storage media reader 650 can further be connected to a computer-readable storage medium, together (and, optionally, in combination with storage device(s) 640) comprehensively representing remote, local, fixed, and/or removable storage devices plus storage media for temporarily and/or more permanently containing computer-readable information. The communications system 660 may permit data to be exchanged with a network, system, computer and/or other component described above.
  • [0042]
    The computer system 600 may also comprise software elements, shown as being currently located within a working memory 680, including an operating system 684 and/or other code 688. It should be appreciated that alternate embodiments of a computer system 600 may have numerous variations from that described above. For example, customized hardware might also be used and/or particular elements might be implemented in hardware, software (including portable software, such as applets), or both. Furthermore, connection to other computing devices such as network input/output and data acquisition devices may also occur.
  • [0043]
    Software of computer system 600 may include code 688 for implementing any or all of the function of the various elements of the architecture as described herein. For example, software, stored on and/or executed by a computer system such as system 600, can provide the functions of the scanning apparatus, the three-dimensional modeling software program and computer, the fabrication apparatus, the molding system and/or other components of the invention such as those discussed above. Methods implementable by software on some of these components have been discussed above in more detail.
  • [0044]
    The invention has now been described in detail for the purposes of clarity and understanding. However, it will be appreciated that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims.
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8005558Sep 14, 2007Aug 23, 2011Nike, Inc.Three-dimensional design lasts for footwear
US8549688 *Oct 10, 2008Oct 8, 2013Fischer Sports GmbhMethod for producing shoes, strips therefor and shoe
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Classifications
U.S. Classification12/146.00R
International ClassificationA43B23/00
Cooperative ClassificationA43B5/04, A43D1/025, A63C2201/06
European ClassificationA43D1/02C, A43B5/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 25, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: DRAKE POWERDERWORKS, LLC, OREGON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:DRAKE, STEPHAN;TURNER, PETER;REEL/FRAME:020415/0163
Effective date: 20080120