Custom Shoe Sole Design and Modeling Toward 3D Printing

Ali Zolfagharian, Mohammad Lakhi, Sadegh Ranjbar, Mahdi Bodaghi

Article ID: 396
Vol 7, Issue 4, 2021, Article identifier:

VIEWS - 341 (Abstract) 120 (PDF)

In Press, Corrected proof, Published online July 23, 2021


This study introduces a design procedure for improving an individual’s footwear comfort with body weight index and activity requirements by customized three-dimensional (3D)-printed shoe midsole lattice structure. This method guides the selection of customized 3D-printed fabrications incorporating both physical and geometrical properties that meet user demands. The analysis of the lattice effects on minimizing the stress on plantar pressure was performed by initially creating various shoe midsole lattice structures designed. An appropriate common 3D printable material was selected along with validating its viscoelastic properties using finite element analysis. The lattice structure designs were analyzed under various loading conditions to investigate the suitability of the method in fabricating a customized 3D-printed shoe midsole based on the individual’s specifications using a single material with minimum cost, time, and material use.


Customization, Shoe, Sole, 3D printing, 4D printing, Viscoelastic, Polyurethane

Full Text:



Khosravani MR, Zolfagharian A, 2020, Fracture and Load carrying Capacity of 3D-Printed Cracked Components. Extreme Mech Lett, 37:100692.

Zolfagharian A, Denk M, Bodaghi M, et al., 2019, Topology optimized 4D Printing of a Soft Actuator. Acta Mech. Solida Sin, 33:418–30.

Shirzad M, Zolfagharian A, Matbouei A, et al., 2021, Design, Evaluation, and Optimization of 3D Printed Truss Scaffolds for Bone Tissue Engineering. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater, 120:104594.

Joshi SC, Sheikh AA, 2015, 3D Printing in Aerospace and its Long-term Sustainability. Virtual Phys Prototyp, 10:175–85.

Nichols MR, 2019, How does the Automotive Industry Benefit from 3D Metal Printing? Metal Powder Rep, 74:257–8.

Zolfagharian A, Durran L, Gharaie S, et al., 2021, 4D Printing Soft Robots Guided by Machine Learning and Finite Element Models. Sens Actuators A Phys, 328:112774.

Tay YW, Panda B, Paul SC, et al., 2017, 3D Printing Trends in Building and Construction Industry: A Review. Virtual Phys Prototyp, 12:261–76.

Liu Z, Zhang M, Bhandari B, et al., 2017, 3D Printing: Printing Precision and Application in Food Sector. Trends Food Sci Technol, 69:83–94.

Ng WL, Chua CK, Shen YF, 2019, Print me an Organ! Why we are not there yet. Prog Polym Sci, 97:101145.

Askari M, Naniz MA, Kouhi M, et al., 2021, Recent Progress in Extrusion 3D Bioprinting of Hydrogel Biomaterials for Tissue Regeneration: A Comprehensive Review with Focus on Advanced Fabrication Techniques. Biomater Sci, 9:535–73.

Ma Z, Lin J, Xu X, et al., 2019, Design and 3D Printing of Adjustable Modulus Porous Structures for Customized Diabetic Foot Insoles. Int J Lightweight Mater Manuf, 2:57–63.

Cha YH, Lee KH, Ryu H, et al., 2017, Ankle-foot Orthosis Made by 3D Printing Technique and Automated Design Software. Appl Bionics Biomech, 2017:9610468.

Munteanu SE, Scott LA, Bonanno DR, et al., 2015, Effectiveness of Customised Foot Orthoses for Achilles Tendinopathy: A Randomised Controlled Trial. Br J Sports Med, 49:989–94.

Pita-Fernandez S, Gonzalez-Martin C, Alonso-Tajes F, et al., 2017, Flat Foot in a Random Population and its Impact on Quality of Life and Functionality. J Clin Diagn Res, 11:LC22.

Kusumoto A, Suzuki T, Yoshida H, et al., 2007, Intervention Study to Improve Quality of Life and Health Problems of Community-living Elderly Women in Japan by Shoe Fitting and Custom-made Insoles. Gerontology, 53:348–56.

Linberg BH, Mengshoel AM, 2018, Effect of a Thin Customized Insole on Pain and Walking Ability in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Randomized Study. Musculoskelet Care, 16:32–8.

Rasenberg N, Riel H, Rathleff MS, et al., 2018, Efficacy of Foot Orthoses for the Treatment of Plantar Heel Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med, 52:1040–6.

Zhu Y, Joralmon D, Shan W, et al., 2021, 3D Printing Biomimetic Materials and Structures for Biomedical Applications. Biodes Manuf, 4:1–24.

Low JH, Chee PS, Lim EH, et al., 2020, Design of a wireless smart insole using stretchable microfluidic sensor for gait monitoring. Smart Mater Struct, 29:065003.

Begg L, Burns J, 2008, A Comparison of Insole Materials on Plantar Pressure and Comfort in the Neuroischaemic Diabetic Foot. Clin Biomech, 23:710–11.

Chatzistergos PE, Naemi R, Healy A, et al., 2017, Subject Specific Optimisation of the Stiffness of Footwear Material for Maximum Plantar Pressure Reduction. Ann Biomed Eng, 45:1929–40.

Chatzistergos P, Farrugia K, Wright M, et al., 2019, Patient Specific Optimisation of the Stiffness of 3D Printed Orthoses for People with Diabetic Foot Syndrome. The Hague, The Netherlands: 8th International Symposium on Diabetic Foot At: World Forum.

Cheung JT, Zhang M, Leung AK, et al., 2005, Three dimensional Finite Element Analysis of the Foot during Standing a Material Sensitivity Study. J Biomech, 38:1045–54.

Sarikhani A, Motalebizadeh A, Asiaei S, et al., 2016, Studying Maximum Plantar Stress Per Insole Design Using Foot CT-Scan Images of Hyperelastic Soft Tissues. Appl Bionics Biomech, 2016:8985690.

Tarrade T, Doucet F, Saint-Lô N, et al., 2019, Are Custom made Foot Orthoses of any Interest on the Treatment of Foot Pain for Prolonged Standing Workers? Appl Ergon, 80:130–5.

Kim JS, Fell DW, Cha YJ, et al., 2012, Effects of Different Heel Heights on Plantar Foot Pressure Distribution of Older Women During Walking. J Phys Ther Sci, 24:1091–4.

Kumar A, Collini L, Daurel A, et al., 2020, Design and Additive Manufacturing of Closed Cells from Supportless Lattice Structure. Addit Manuf, 33:101168.

Zolfagharian A, Gregory TM, Bodaghi M, et al., 2020, Patient-specific 3D-printed Splint for Mallet Finger Injury. Int J Bioprint, 6:259.

Kolan KC, Huang YW, Semon JA, et al., 2020, 3D-printed Biomimetic Bioactive Glass Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration in Rat Calvarial Defects. Int J Bioprint, 6:274.

Dong G, Tessier D, Zhao Y, 2019, Design of Shoe Soles Using Lattice Structures Fabricated by Additive Manufacturing. Proc Des Soc, 1:719–28.

Ng WL, Lee JM, Zhou M, et al., 2020, Vat Polymerization based Bioprinting-Process, Materials, Applications and Regulatory Challenges. Biofabrication, 12:022001.

Redmann A, Oehlmann P, Scheffler T, et al., 2020, Thermal Curing Kinetics Optimization of Epoxy Resin in Digital Light Synthesis. Addit Manuf, 32:101018.

Sillani F, Kleijnen RG, Vetterli M, et al., 2019, Selective Laser Sintering and Multi Jet Fusion: Process-induced Modification of the Raw Materials and Analyses of Parts Performance. Addit Manuf, 27:32–41.

Rai D, Aggarwal L, 2006, The Study of Plantar Pressure Distribution in Normal and Pathological Foot. Pol J Med Phys Eng, 12:25–34.

Nandikolla V, Bochen R, Meza S, et al., 2017, Experimental Gait Analysis to Study Stress Distribution of the Human Foot. J Med Eng, 2017:3432074.

Koike S Okina S, 2012, A Modeling Method of Sport Shoes for Dynamic Analysis of Shoe-body Coupled System. Proc Eng, 34:272–7.

Hossain M, Navaratne R, Perić D, 2020, 3D Printed Elastomeric Polyurethane: Viscoelastic Experimental Characterizations and Constitutive Modelling with Nonlinear Viscosity Functions. Int J Nonlinear Mech, 126:103546.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Zolfagharian, et al

License URL: https://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/