EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Why not made to order boots
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Why not made to order boots - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Pugliese
What size shell?
Don't know off of the top of my head. I will look when I get home tonight.

Problem with my boots right now is that the toe and heal are worn down to the point where I am worried that the wear will affect binding performance.

From your posts on Delbello boots I was thinking that was the ticket. I figure if I buy the right pair I should be good for another 10 years or so.

That said...I will take a look at my Flexons tonight.
post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJguy
They have come a long way with the resins, they now even rapid prototype a car engine parts and test the resin prototypes on real engines (even engine blocks!). But the beauty of the rapid protyper in the case of ski boots is that you would not need to make a mold, think about it why would you make a mold of a boot that can be used right out of the machine and is tailored only to you? These machines can produce super intricate details, they are quite amazing.

But if you have a need to make a mold, maybe to take advantage of more advanced plastics than are available for 3D printing, you can simply use investment casting, a process that allows you to make a mold out of even a paper plane if needed.
Wow, I just did a quick google search and cant beleave how far the resin systems have come since the last time I checked ( a couple of years).

Polycarbonate boots would be cool, but I am not exactly sure I would be comfortable with the average ski shop stoner processing the resin. You screw the resin upp, you end up with bispheynol-A (a very nasty nerve aggent used in WWI)

The other problem that rapid prototyping and casting doesnt solve, is creating a highly oreiented polymer, wich is what gives boots a lot of there strenght in certian areas and greatly effects there flex patterns. Sure you can get around this by altering the desing / shape to increase the amount of material and get simular strenghts. However you would be making an allready heavy product even heavier.
post #33 of 50
This is really interesting. There is one key element which seems to be overlooked. The Customer. A CNC machine can't anticipate a customer's pain threshold. The issue with bootfitting is more that everyone has a different tollerence level for a tight fit than everyone having different feet. Having a custom milled 'race fit' shell would be unBEARABLE for 9 ot of 10 skiers. Ski boot fitting is more balancing the customers ability to tollerate 'pain' with their desire for a performance fit. The customer's perception of 'fit' and the bootfitter's perception of 'fit' is where things usually go whacky. The fit in the shop doesn't really represent what the boot will fit like once it's broken in and no one wants to be uncomfortable so the fit is often compromised. If you don't understand that you need to 'break in' your new boot all the CNC'd goodness in the world won't get you into the right boot.
post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier
Here is why it wont work.

All ski boots on the market today are injection molded. Meaning that molten plastic is shot into very precise molds. This process is very effecent for production, allows for a great amount o detail in the boot, and even aids in altering the strenght and flex of the boot ( by changing the orientation of the plastics flow, and the rate of cooling, you can get DRASTICALLY different material properties) Simply machining out a surface out of a solid block would actualy result in a much WEAKER shell, with a completly different and not very good flex. Secondly it would require a 3 axis CNC machine wich are VERY EXPENSIVE, and none to my kowledge can produce the intimate curves needed in a ski boot, and work in an area as confined as a ski boot last. Finally it would take a very long time to machine that much plastic. Oh yeah, you would also have to find a way to deal with all of the heat generated by the machining process wich will make it next to imposible to achieve any sort of tolerance.

The current method of making "stock" shells and having a good boot fiter, do the needed thermo forming and grinding actually works quite well. It is not that difficult and isnt exactly the rocket science that most boot fitters want you to beleave it is.
MtBaker,

I respectfully disagree with your comment that the 3 axis CNC machines are not able to create the intimate curves needed. I have seen more than 1 tool and die plastics mold shop with machines in action that would handle this. As for the suggestion on cutting out the 3 D image of the foot with a metal (others have made this suggestion) - there are other materials used to do this for the mold industry that would work too- graphite is used regularly for the start of mold work- easier and faster to cut than a solid block of metal. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to have the boot last in a few different fit widths and the lengths for the shell- then allow the cutting of the material (like the shops do with dremel tools used) and then match up the forward lean canting of the top of the boot, etc. with a few different models of the top shell.
post #35 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RShea
MtBaker,

I respectfully disagree with your comment that the 3 axis CNC machines are not able to create the intimate curves needed. I have seen more than 1 tool and die plastics mold shop with machines in action that would handle this. As for the suggestion on cutting out the 3 D image of the foot with a metal (others have made this suggestion) - there are other materials used to do this for the mold industry that would work too- graphite is used regularly for the start of mold work- easier and faster to cut than a solid block of metal. The easiest way to accomplish this would be to have the boot last in a few different fit widths and the lengths for the shell- then allow the cutting of the material (like the shops do with dremel tools used) and then match up the forward lean canting of the top of the boot, etc. with a few different models of the top shell.

I didnt say that it couldnt be done, just that it would not exactly be cheap. # axis CNC machines are not exactly inexpensive, and you would have to do a lot of volume to justify the cost of the machinery. The problem is that when you reach the amount of volume needed, it is quite easy to surpass he ability of the machine to keep up with demand. It's really more of a question of economics. However the biggest issue would still be the amount of distortion that would be caused by milling a large cavity out of a block of plastic.
post #36 of 50

mom

Sounds like the other variable (good/fast/cheap), may be time.

If I had problems (and I did due to an old injury to my right foot), I skied in a lot of pain for years.

It seems that now is the time of year to invest in the luxury of time, to visit the better shops and brand by brand comparison, narrowing it down to the top contenders for fit and them get a good footbed. GMO did my beds from a goop casting of my foot. Pain was gone and it solved a few balance problems too.
post #37 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiteroom
This is really interesting. There is one key element which seems to be overlooked. The Customer. A CNC machine can't anticipate a customer's pain threshold. The issue with bootfitting is more that everyone has a different tollerence level for a tight fit than everyone having different feet. Having a custom milled 'race fit' shell would be unBEARABLE for 9 ot of 10 skiers. Ski boot fitting is more balancing the customers ability to tollerate 'pain' with their desire for a performance fit. The customer's perception of 'fit' and the bootfitter's perception of 'fit' is where things usually go whacky. The fit in the shop doesn't really represent what the boot will fit like once it's broken in and no one wants to be uncomfortable so the fit is often compromised. If you don't understand that you need to 'break in' your new boot all the CNC'd goodness in the world won't get you into the right boot.
I dont think that this will be the case at all. The reason you break in anything worn is so that it can conform to your body. In the case of custom made boots that are made from a computer scan they will fit you like another layer of skin, you can then decide how much room you want between the shell and your foot and size the data ratios accordingly. Pain in a boot is due to bad fitment, period.
post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbakerskier
I didnt say that it couldnt be done, just that it would not exactly be cheap. # axis CNC machines are not exactly inexpensive, and you would have to do a lot of volume to justify the cost of the machinery. The problem is that when you reach the amount of volume needed, it is quite easy to surpass he ability of the machine to keep up with demand. It's really more of a question of economics. However the biggest issue would still be the amount of distortion that would be caused by milling a large cavity out of a block of plastic.
That is partially true, the plastics industry tool and die has gone through economic cycles just like any other industry and good used CNC machines are out there regularly. As for the milling of a large cavity, again my idea is to have a narrow and wide foot shell last at the various lengths and use the CNC for the areas that would get cut down by hand with a dremel tool in a shop. Then select the liner and the top section of the boot for the forward lean wanted.
post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by XJguy
I dont think that this will be the case at all. The reason you break in anything worn is so that it can conform to your body. In the case of custom made boots that are made from a computer scan they will fit you like another layer of skin, you can then decide how much room you want between the shell and your foot and size the data ratios accordingly. Pain in a boot is due to bad fitment, period.
I agree with XJ here, but offer a slightly different suggestion. Have a system with maybe 3-4 varieties of liners available, so that lower-end recreational skiers who want more comfort get thicker liners (more padding, more warmth), and racers have very thin liners. When you plug the info into the computer for grinding, it takes into account which liner you want, and grinds more for thicker liners and less for thinner liners. This may also make the plastic thiner for recreational skiers, and therefore the boots softer, whereas cutting less material away for a thinner liner for a racer would result in a stiffer shell.

I love this idea. With the cost of technology today and in the future, it may even be able to be done at a reasonable cost, although you may need to send the boots off to the milling factory to be able to do the volume necessary to make it feasable, but I think that most people would be okay with waiting a week or two for boots that fit that well.
post #40 of 50
Thread Starter 
Whoo hoo. Let's do it. Any venture capitalists on the site? The System could be perfected and a prtotype made and then you could sell it to companies that already make plug boots but now could market them to a wider audience. We'll all make tons of money and ski in comfy boots happily ever after. (Well, at least some of us will ski in comfy boots for a while.)
post #41 of 50
A first step:

http://www.uspto.gov/patft/index.html

Apparently, there are something like 664 patents with "ski boot" in the title (plus however many with "boot, particularly for skiing," "device for enclosing a foot while skiing" and what-have-you).
post #42 of 50
Sorry to be another nay-sayer, but this just doesn't seem like a great idea to me. For starters, what position is your foot in when the scanner reads it? I just don't see how this will be better than what a good fitter can do with a plug boot. What would be nice would be if there were more user friendly plug boots. Not everyone needs a 150 flex.
post #43 of 50
Just off the top of my head: I wonder why you couldn't produce a wax or resin plug from a 3d computer scan, place it in the appropriate shell mold and inject the shell material around it, kind of like the "lost wax" method with which bronze castings are made? The plug melts away leaving a void resembling your foot. I imagine the plug could be milled but there are also other methods for producing 3d models from digital models, some involve machines similar to injet printers which lay down layer upon layer of starchlike material to build up the 3d model. Perhaps the plug could be molded to be larger than your foot by a precise amount to account for the thickness of a flow-type bladder insert.
post #44 of 50
Mom, ski boot maker Alpina (Slovenia) introduced so called ACS (Alpina Customization System) sometime last season. The whole system consist of foot scanner at dealer's shop, central server, which processes scanned data and provides recomendations, and boot line-ups. Alpina started with one men model and one women model. Each model is made in 3 different shell widths (narrow, normal and wide) and you can purchase different boot for each foot based on system recomendation and fit confirmation. Not sure how successful it was and whether they continued this season too. The system has been used in Slovenia, Czech Republic and US (not sure where it was in US).

Could not find any info in English - here is Alpina web page on ACS in Slovenian http://www.alpina.si/si/acs/.
post #45 of 50
Thread Starter 
Wow, thanks Sudovec. Too bad we had to cancel our summer trip to Trieste, I could've checked it out in person. Are you from Slovenia?

The website looked like it was aimed at street shoes, but you say they did it for ski boots. It would be fascinating to know if it was successful and if not why not.
post #46 of 50
Thread Starter 
http://www.alpina.si/en/rr/projekti/...20Measurements

Well, here it is in English. it's almost there. They are developing a data base of lots of feet measurements as an R&D project. They will use that data to design their new boots. At least someone's doing lasar measuring. that part's been done...
post #47 of 50
"At least someone's doing laser measuring." MOM

"All I wanted was sharks with Frickin' Lasers on their heads!" Dr Evil
post #48 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by oisin
Just off the top of my head: I wonder why you couldn't produce a wax or resin plug from a 3d computer scan, place it in the appropriate shell mold and inject the shell material around it, kind of like the "lost wax" method with which bronze castings are made? The plug melts away leaving a void resembling your foot. I imagine the plug could be milled but there are also other methods for producing 3d models from digital models, some involve machines similar to injet printers which lay down layer upon layer of starchlike material to build up the 3d model. Perhaps the plug could be molded to be larger than your foot by a precise amount to account for the thickness of a flow-type bladder insert.
When I had my footbed made they had a scanner (sorry do not remember the brand of the unit) with pins/plugs that came out and gave the bottom surface of the foot at the various points. All you would need is one of these units in 3D that would handle the top and side too, the image is then sent off the the computer where additional notes and changes could be made- lift in the heal if needed or wanted, etc.
post #49 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by RShea
When I had my footbed made they had a scanner (sorry do not remember the brand of the unit)
Sounds like Surefoot (see post #7).
post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom
Wow, thanks Sudovec. Too bad we had to cancel our summer trip to Trieste, I could've checked it out in person. Are you from Slovenia?

The website looked like it was aimed at street shoes, but you say they did it for ski boots. It would be fascinating to know if it was successful and if not why not.
I'm from Czech Republic (CZ) - actually quite close to Slovenia. If you look at list of shoes on the webpage, 1-5 looks like street & hiking boots and 6+7 are skiing boots (Challenger are men/unisex and Lynea are woman boots). Give me couple of days (we have now some bank holidays) and I'll try to check with Alpina dealer in CZ.

BTW, here are some photos from shop in Brno, CZ - http://www.trtiksport.cz/?nix=7&reklama=1 & http://www.trtiksport.cz/?nix=22&obrazek=3
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Why not made to order boots