Laceless Challenge 2023

Laceless Challenge 2023

The Laceless Challenge is ongoing! We as framas would like to contribute our part and developed a women soccer last, which can be used by all participants to create a shoe.

Women Soccer Last

Good luck to all designers of the Laceless Challenge 2023. #lacelesschallenge

Please feel free to use this women football 3D last we developed.

Size: 5.5 UK
Toe Spring: 19.0mm
Heel lift: 6.0mm
Ball girth: 222.0mm

Access the 3D files of the shoe last here:

If you would like to know more about the production and measurements of a shoelast, make sure to check out our blog article.

Section Sheet

Please click on the image to access the PDF file. This way you can print it on a scale of 1:1.

Football Last

A football shoe needs to sit tight on the foot. Therefore, a last for this category must have a narrow heel clip, a slim forefoot area and arch.

These functions provide extra stability for the whole foot and give a better connection to the football. As well the side walls of the last are rounded which makes it easier to handle the football. A football shoe must be comfortable as well because the players run a lot.

Difference Men & Women Football Last

A women football last is in total tighter in the forefoot area. The heel form of the women football last is rounder and more curved.

In general football shoelasts contain more running shoe elements than in earlier times.

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Laceless Challenge 2023

3D Modelling in footwear creation

3D modelling has become an integral part of the footwear design process in recent years. It allows designers and developers to create and visualize their designs in a virtual environment, allowing for greater accuracy, efficiency, and innovation. In this blog article, we will dive into 3D modelling and its importance in footwear design.


What is 3D modelling?

Why is 3D modelling important in footwear design and development?

Where can I apply 3D modelling in footwear design and development?

What is the best 3D modelling approach for footwear design and development?


· Polygonal Meshes

· Polygonal Subdivision

Generative Design

Lattice & Additive Manufacturing

· Lattice Structures

· Additive Manufacturing

Extended Reality & Artificial Intelligence

· Extended Reality

· Artifical Intelligence


What is 3D modelling?

3D modelling  is the process of creating a three-dimensional representation of a physical object or scene using specialized software. 3D modelling software allows designers to create a virtual representation of a shoe, from the sole to the upper, but also creates a base information to share with 3D Printing and later with development (Inline) for production.

3D modelling software allows designers to create and manipulate virtual 3D objects, such as shoe lasts, sole units, components, and reinforcements using a variety of tools, in particular shape and form manipulators, texture mapping, and lighting controls. It gives designers greater control and flexibility over the design process. In this blog article, we will dive into what 3D modelling is, its benefits, and its applications in the footwear industry.

Why is 3D modelling important in footwear design and development?

3D modelling is a powerful tool for footwear designers, offering increased speed, accuracy, and visualization capabilities. By adopting this technology, designers can create better products, faster, and with greater efficiency.

1. Greater accuracy and efficiency: 3D modelling software allows designers and developers to create a precise and accurate representation of a shoe before it’s even produced. This reduces the need for traditional sketching and physical prototyping, which can be time-consuming and expensive. The ability to quickly create and modify designs also allows footwear brand creation teams to work more efficiently, consistently, with improved quality and on time.

2. Enhanced collaboration: With 3D modelling, designers and developers can share their designs with team members and stakeholders in a virtual environment. This makes it easier for designers to collaborate and receive feedback, even if team members and factory partners are located in different parts of the world.

3. Innovation and creativity: 3D modelling software like Rhinoceros allows designers to explore new designs and push the boundaries of traditional shoe design. With the ability to create complex shapes and textures, designers can experiment with new materials and construction techniques, leading to the creation of innovative and unique shoe designs.

4. Improved visualisation and communication: 3D models can be easily shared and viewed from multiple angles, making it easier for designers, developers, engineers, shoe factory partners and other stakeholders to visualize and understand the design. This can help facilitate communication and collaboration throughout the design, development and production process.

Where can I apply 3D modelling in footwear design and development?

3D modelling has a wide range of applications in footwear design and development, including:

1. Concept development: 3D modelling can be used to quickly create and refine new design concepts, allowing designers to explore different ideas and variations before committing to a final design.

2. Tech packs: 3D models can be an efficient part of a tech pack. Footwear developers share tech packs with their shoe factory partners to give instructions on how to develop and manufacture the model. 3D Models have a much higher informative level if they include 360-degree 3D models of computer-aided design (CAD), shell pattern, tooling layering, measurements and upper layering. Particularly, showing the CAD in all its 5 typical views (lateral, medial, top view, outsole view, and heel view) becomes obsolete if it can be substituted by a single 3D model.

3. Prototyping: 3D models can be used to create physical prototypes using 3D printing or other rapid prototyping methods. This can help designers and developers to test and refine their designs before committing to mass production.

4. Production: 3D models can be used to create production-ready designs and tooling, which can help ensure consistency and quality in the final product.

What is the best 3D modelling approach for footwear design and development?

When it comes to 3D modelling for footwear design, there are several different approaches that can be used. Three of the most common approaches are NURBS, polygonal meshes and SubD. Each approach has its own features and benefits, which are outlined below.



NURBS (Non-uniform rational basis spline) is a mathematical representation of 3D geometry that is widely used in computer-aided design (CAD) applications. NURBS surfaces are defined by control points and curves, which are used to define the shape of the surface. NURBS surfaces are highly accurate and can be manipulated with precision, making them ideal for modelling complex shapes and curves. Some of the key features and benefits of NURBS for footwear modelling include:

1. Highly accurate surfaces: NURBS surfaces can be precisely controlled, allowing for accurate modelling of complex shapes and curves.

2. Smooth surfaces: NURBS surfaces can be smoothed and refined, resulting in highly polished and visually appealing designs.

3. Efficient workflow: NURBS surfaces can be easily edited and modified, allowing for an efficient workflow and faster design iterations.

2. Polygonal Meshes

Meshes are a popular approach to 3D modelling that involves representing 3D geometry as a series of interconnected polygons (triangles and/or quads). Polygonal meshes are widely used in gaming and animation but are also used in footwear design.  All the models we use for 3D printing, are Meshes.

Some of the key features and benefits of polygonal meshes for footwear modelling include:

1. Versatility: Meshes can be used to create a wide range of shapes and designs, making them highly versatile.

2. Realistic textures: Polygonal meshes can be textured and shaded to create highly realistic and detailed designs.

3. Large amount of polygons: Meshes are not that easy to manipulate and edit, since they are made of many polygons, and usually requires to repair the geometry, to have all the polygons and vertices connected.

When a shoe last master model is finished by hand, it is scanned, and this digital process gives us a mesh file.  This mesh file could have thousands or millions of polygons to have the best resolution and accuracy.

3. Polygonal Subdivision

Polygonal Subdivision (SubD) is a type of polygonal mesh (low polygons) that is used to create smooth, organic shapes utilizing algorithms like Catmull-Clark commonly used for 3D animation industry since 1978.  SubDs are defined by a set of faces, edges and vertices that can be moved and adjusted to create complex shapes. Some of the key features and benefits:

1. Smooth surfaces: SubD can be smoothed and refined, resulting in highly polished and visually appealing designs.

2. Organic shapes: This topology is ideal for creating organic shapes curves, such as those found in sport footwear.

3. Efficient workflow: SubD geometries can be easily edited and modified, allowing for an efficient workflow and faster design iterations.

Generative Design

Generative Design is an innovative approach to 3D modelling that uses algorithms to create complex designs almost automatically. By inputting design criteria such as shapes, geometric rules, and performance specifications; Generative Design software (like Grasshopper) can generate multiple design options (iterations) quickly and efficiently. This technology also named Algorithmic Modelling, has many potential benefits for the footwear industry, including:

1. Faster design iteration: Generative design allows footwear designers to create and evaluate multiple design options quickly and easily. This can help reduce the time and cost of the design process, while also enabling designers to explore more creative and innovative design solutions.

2. Improved design quality: Algorithmic modelling algorithms can take into account a wide range of design parameters, such as materials, geometries, mechanical properties, loads, and performance requirements. This can help ensure that the final design is optimized for its intended use, with improved functionality and performance.

3. Enhanced customization: Generative design can also be used to create highly customized footwear products tailored to the specific needs of individual customers. By inputting personalized data such as foot shape and size, generative design algorithms can create unique designs that are optimized for the individual’s needs.

4. Increased sustainability: It can also help reduce waste and promote sustainability in the footwear industry. By optimizing designs for materials and manufacturing processes, generative design can help reduce the amount of material waste and energy used in the production process. (You want to learn more about other ways to promote sustainability? Check out our blog post about green materials here.)

Lattice & Additive Manufacturing

Lattice structures and 3D printing are powerful technologies that can be used to enhance the 3D modelling process for footwear designers. Embracing these technologies, designers can create innovative and highly functional footwear designs that are optimized for specific performance requirements, while also promoting sustainability and customization in the footwear industry.


1. Lattice Structures

Lattice structures are complex, interconnected structures that can be used to create lightweight, yet highly durable shapes. Lattice structures can be found in nature, such as in the internal structure of bones, and can be replicated using 3D modelling and printing techniques. By using lattice structures in footwear design, designers can create shoes that are lighter, more flexible, and more comfortable, without sacrificing durability or support.

2. Additive Manufacturing

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is the part of the Industry 4.0 which uses different technologies commonly named 3D printing. This is a process by which a three-dimensional object is created from a digital model. 3D printing technology has advanced significantly in recent years, allowing for the creation of highly complex and detailed objects, including footwear products. By using 3D printing in footwear design, designers can create prototypes and even finished products quickly and efficiently, with a high degree of accuracy and precision and using several types of materials.

By combining lattice structures and 3D printing, footwear designers can create highly complex and customized designs that are optimized for specific performance requirements. For example, designers can create lattice structures that are tailored to specific pressure points on the foot, or that are optimized for specific types of movement or activity. These lattice structures can then be 3D printed using a range of materials, including plastics, metals, and even bio-based materials, to create highly functional and sustainable footwear products.

Extended Reality & Artificial Intelligence

Extended Reality and Artificial Intelligence are two emerging technologies that are transforming the footwear industry. Using these technologies, footwear designers and manufacturers can create better products, faster, and with greater efficiency, while also improving the customer experience. As these technologies continue to evolve, we can expect to see even more innovative uses in the footwear industry in the future.

1. Extended Reality

Extended Reality (XR) is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Mixed Reality (MR). XR technologies are being used in the footwear industry in a variety of ways, including:

1. Design: XR technologies can be used to create immersive design environments that allow designers to explore and refine their designs in a virtual space.

2. Prototyping: XR technologies can be used to create realistic virtual prototypes that can be tested and refined before physical prototypes are created.

3. Retail: XR technologies can be used to create immersive shopping experiences that allow customers to try on and customize footwear products in a virtual environment.


2. Artifical Intelligence

Artifical Intelligence is another technology that is being increasingly used in the footwear industry. AI is being used to:

1. Improved design creation and ideation: Large Language Models (LLM) can be used to analyze customer data and feedback to inform design decisions and create personalized footwear products.

2. Optimize production: AI can be used to optimize production processes and improve supply chain management, reducing costs and increasing efficiency.

3. Enhance marketing: Text-to-Image and Image-to-Image can be used to analyze customer data and behavior to create targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer engagement.

4. Better understanding of the market and consumer behaviour: AI could help us to know more about Intellectual Properties (IP) rights and patenting of concepts, before turning them into products.  Brands and consumer data are also easy to reach, using the right prompts.   

In summary, 3D modelling has revolutionized the way footwear designers approach their work, providing them with a range of powerful tools and technologies to create innovative and functional shoe designs.

Advancements in technology, such as Extended Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Generative Design, Lattice structures, and 3D printing have transformed the way designers and developers work. There are several approaches to 3D modelling for footwear design, each with its own features and benefits.

NURBS, Meshes, and SubD are three of the most common topologies. By embracing 3D modelling technology, footwear designers can create more innovative and functional shoe designs than ever before, paving the way for a more dynamic and exciting footwear industry in the years to come.

If you would like to learn more from René, make sure to also check out the webinar he did with McNeel Europe.

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Transparency & Traceability in Footwear and Fashion Supply Chains

Transparency & Traceability in Footwear and Fashion Supply Chains

Partner Content by

In today’s footwear- and fashion industry, product development professionals are familiar with the challenges of efficiently managing samples along the supply chain. There is often a lack of detailed information about the exact material sources and actual data about the sample status. Due to inefficient manual processes and chaotic data management, time and effort are wasted in searching and waiting for samples. Communication gaps with suppliers can also lead to misunderstandings, resulting in unpleasant delays in the sampling process. The root cause of this problem is often a lack of process transparency. Fortunately, modern tools of digital transformation can help to address this issue by leveraging supply chain transparency and traceability.

However, discussions about transparency developments in footwear and apparel supply chains often result in confusion about distinguishing between the terms of transparency and traceability. This article aims to provide a clear definition of both terms and present practical examples and benefits of their application in the footwear industry

To begin with, the concepts of transparency and traceability in fashion supply chains are theoretically defined, also including their significance for sustainable developments. The discussion then focuses on digital tools that can enable greater transparency, especially in the field of product development across footwear and fashion supply chains. In the end, we present a real-world example of introducing a new visibility solution in the footwear industry to foster transparency and traceability developments.

Supply chain transparency
Traceability of the supply chain
What can fashion- and footwear companies do to be more transparent?
Digitization of framas supply chain
sample.flow in use


In general transparency is considered as one of the first building blocks towards a sustainable transformation of business practices. It enables organizations to gain a comprehensive understanding of their operations, including their strengths and weaknesses. With transparency, businesses can identify inefficiencies and waste, which can then be minimized or eliminated, resulting in more resource-efficient operations. This, in turn, leads to reduced environmental impact and a more sustainable approach.

When it comes to supply chain transparency, a reliable system can play a key role in ensuring that the right measures are taken to mitigate risks and promote sustainable practices along the entire value chain. Having a suitable transparency system in place is therefore essential for identifying and addressing supply chain risks, especially in the context of new regulations such as the German Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz).

Supply Chain Transparency

Supply chain transparency can be defined  as the  company’s understanding of the processes in their supply chain and the communication about it internally and externally. This does also include an increased communication about the product’s origin.

Additionally, transparency can be viewed as a corporate policy that is identifying supply chain risks early on with the aim of implementing continuous improvements with the involved stakeholders. Supply chain transparency refers to gathering and exchanging information at the meta level. This includes for example the collection of supplier data, locations, certificates, and their validity. Which then allows a general visualization of the company’s supply chains, also called supply chain mapping. 

The diffusion theory of innovation can help to determine the degree of a company’s transparency efforts along their own supply chain. Considering their depth of involvement, looking downstream including suppliers and partners until the raw material supply. Companies can be categorized also in regards of their innovation potential in relation to their transparency initiatives.

In summary it can be said that leveraging supply chain transparency enables companies to gain a better visibility of their entire supply network. Therefore, supply chain transparency plays a key role for every company that is striving to take over greater control and responsibility along their own value chains, including the involvement of suppliers and stakeholders.

Traceability of the supply chain

In contrast to the overarching concept of supply chain transparency, the term traceability of the supply chain pertains to more granular insights into the operational procedures within the supply chain. Rather than focusing on the entire mapping of the supply chain, traceability is concerned with the collection of accurate data about a product through each processing stage. This type of data could include order- or batch details, product information such as components and materials, as well as processing and lead times referring to specific processing stages.

Having a proper traceability system in place enables companies to reduce resource waste such as time and manpower, identify quality issue at the spot and reduce supply chain risks. Furthermore, the collection of granular data can provide valuable insights that can be used to generate overall transparency of a specific processing stage. Through the identification of inefficiencies, new opportunities for process improvements and control are given.

To conclude, it can be said that supply chain transparency is primarily related to the visualization of the supply chain, while supply chain traceability pertains to the visualization of granular operational data. Nevertheless, supply chain transparency can be described as a main category, with supply chain traceability being a subcategory.

What can fashion- and footwear companies do to be more transparent?

Companies in the footwear and fashion industry currently face the challenge of finding and implementing suitable IT systems that can promote transparency both at a macro and micro level, encompassing specific processing stages throughout their entire value chain. Only through the application of appropriate systems can risks and inefficiencies be identified and addressed for improvement.

In addition, the importance of Lean Management concepts is increasing, as this method aims to increase productivity, reduce waste, and ultimately minimize lead times and fasten time-to-market. Furthermore, this concept helps to address the rising challenges of skilled labor shortage. Investing in suitable software solutions for the digital transformation of business processes is crucial for footwear- and fashion companies looking to stay competitive in a rapidly digitizing world. By implementing these solutions, businesses can establish a stable and well-positioned presence in the marketplace, with streamlined processes and increased efficiency.

Digitization of framas supply chain

framas is continuously taking steps towards digital transformation, striving to ensure full transparency, and taking over responsibility for a more sustainable future.

Implementing the solution sample.flow® in their product development processes was one big milestone. framas is now tracing e.g., its mold and shoe lasts sampling processes in Germany, Korea and Vietnam with the system, to ensure a waste free and speedy workflow. sample.flow® combines smart RFID scanners with a SaaS software solution, enabling fast and clean data collection at every process step in real-time. Every sample can be easily allocated with its complete status in each step of the sampling process.

Additionally, a live dashboard view summarizes the most important KPIs to monitor our performance and to identify continuous improvement potential. framas now has a suitable system in place that ensures full sampling traceability on the one hand and the delivery of clean data to foster overall transparency developments on the other hand.

Bridging the physical and digital world has allowed framas to reduce their sampling time-to-market by up to 50%, while internal and external communication times have decreased massively.


  • 100% transparency & traceability: Clear Kanban- and Dashboard Views with real-time sample status data. No more time loss through searching and waiting for samples.
  • Up to 50% faster time to market: Reduction of development lead times and improved delivery reliability. Speeding up time to market significantly.
  • 30% more focus & productivity: More time for creative things in daily business. Increased productivity through less waste. 43 hours saved per month searching samples (per person).

*This article is created in cooperation with experts from Arkema to provide you a deeper inside into this topic. It is not sponsored or paid in any way.

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We are happy to receive any feedback and tell us what other topics are of interest to you. We will try to address them in the near future.

As well you can contact sample.flow® over their website

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