NUST MISIS Created 3D Printed Device for Breaking in Shoes

The newly designed Bootfitter helps avoid blisters by pre-fitting new shoes for your feet using individually modeled and 3D printed shapes.

The development of the anatomical stretching device was carried out by young engineers from NUST MISIS together with the Karfidov Lab design bureau. The purpose of the Bootfitter is to adjust shoes for feet with any peculiarities, including non-standard anatomy. The effect is comparable to a two-week break-in.

“Bootfitter is designed not only for people with an unusual or injured foot, or professional athletes, but for virtually any person. Besides the main function — stretching shoes — the device has other possibilities. For example, it expands the choice of shoes dozens of times. The exclusion of breaking in, which results in calluses and corns, will help maintain the health of a foot,” says Alexander Kulenko, founder of the Bootfitter project.

Such stretchers are produced individually according to digital models obtained with high-quality equipment like the Einscan Pro HD. Each device consists of several 3D printed parts on a stretching mechanism, which facilitates its installation into shoes and the stretching process itself. The mechanism is protected against excessive stress so that users do not accidentally rip their shoes or break the device itself.

“The mechanism consists of several parts, all the complex mechanics are hidden inside. You can only see the handle to rotate and create tension inside the shoe by pressing the parts into it. Inside, the system consists of a few gears, more than a hundred metal parts, springs, bearings, guides. All these parts are made of steel with high precision so that no gaps occur during the assembly — this is the only way the mechanism will work efficiently. For convenience’s sake, the device uses a rectangular thread similar to the guides of 3D printers. It quickly transfers efforts and provides the necessary stretching,” explains Aleksey Karfidov, head of the department of technological equipment engineering at NUST MISIS, co-founder and general designer of Karfidov Lab.

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