World Footwear


Digital prototyping: what tools are available for the footwear industry?

Digital prototyping: what tools are available for the footwear industry?
Just released! A new paper dedicated to some of the new digital tools and softwares commonly used for prototyping in the footwear industry

At a time when the rapid response to customers, with a high degree of personalization, is combined with the needs of environmental and economic sustainability, digital prototyping is an important part of the tools facilitating a response to these challenges. 

The various existing software, combined with the high computational power now available, allow the creation of digital prototypes that are increasingly realistic, interactive, and informative. This provides an ability to produce multiple prototypes, easily iterative, following the entire stage of development and incorporating the necessary suggestions and adjustments decided by the team involved. Thus, the development stage is shortened significantly, allowing to respond to the customer in a faster way, being at the same time more informed of the whole process.

The footwear industry is characterized by having in the product development phase, a high number of samples and / or prototypes for the same product. The production of these physical prototypes usually implies the usage of raw materials that, being proportional to the number of samples produced, have a high environmental and financial impact. In this context, digital prototyping, also by significantly reducing the need to transport samples between producer and customer, allows to considerably reduce these impacts, gaining in terms of sustainability.

This document focuses on digital prototyping and its role in product development, what distinguishes it from physical prototyping, its advantages, and limitations, with the presentation of several examples of the digital tools and softwares commonly used for prototyping.

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Digital technologies for rapid prototyping
Flow for development involving prototyping
Digital tools for prototyping
Examples of application