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ATHOS

The first customized climbing shoe - 3D printed

What it does

Climbing shoes are really uncomfortable and can cause important foot injuries. In order to make climbing more enjoyable and healthy, we have designed the first customized climbing shoe to provide better adaptability and better performance to each user.


Your inspiration

If you have ever climbed you will know that climbing shoes are really uncomfortable. They need to go really tight to the feet in order to have a good performance. Almost all climbers use 2, 3, or even 4 sizes less for their climbing shoes, which hurts a lot. When we started this project at ELISAVA, we were searching for an innovative application by using additive manufacturing (AM) technology. One day, while climbing, we realized that customization was the solution for the adaptability problems of the climbing shoes, and AM was the perfect technology to produce and industrialize it. There is where everything started.


How it works

By using AM technology, each climbing shoe is customized considering the user’s feet shape, needs and type of performance. The Athos workflow has 4 steps: 1. Feetscan of the user: It can be done everywhere with the Athos app. 2. Personalization and customization: type of shape, type of climbing, color, name... 3. Printing process of the body's shoe, post-processing, and assembling parts. 4. Delivery to the user. For the manufacturing of one Athos climbing shoe, you just need to print the body and assemble the rubber and the pull straps. It is a really simple manufacturing process that can be reproduced and distributed all over the world.


Design process

We have been working in Athos since March 2020, so we have done a lot of iterations. - July 2020: Master’s Final Presentation. First prototype (non-real feet). - November 2020: First prototype based on a real feet scan. - January 2021: Test and definition of the material. - February 2021: First functional prototype. - May 2021: Optimization and automatization of the manufacturing process. - July 2021: Final prototype - better fit.


How it is different

Athos is the first customized climbing shoe ever. That is what makes it different. All the current brands (La Sportiva, Scarpa, Five Ten, e.g.) are producing climbing shoes with standard shapes using traditional manufacturing processes. By applying AM technology we want to create the perfect climbing shoe for each user. Also, AM is a much more responsible method of manufacturing. It allows us to produce on-demand and reduce the number of processes and materials by more than 50%.


Future plans

We are collaborating with the IAM3DHUB from Barcelona in order to validate and industrialize our product. These are our next steps: - January 2022: validate ATHOS with 10 professional climbers. - February 2022: first sales. - March 2022: SEED investment. - December 2022: 500 sales - Spain. - + Future: constant improvement of the product based on the climber's knowledge and experience.


Awards

- Elisava Master's Project Awards: nominated. - Forwards AM Innovation Awards: semifinalist. - Distributed Design Awards: finalist (future thinking).


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