Using virtual tests to improve footwear design development

Mara, Gillian and Harland, A.R. and Mitchell, S.R. (2005) Using virtual tests to improve footwear design development. In: The impact of technology on sport. Hunkosha Co Ltd, Japan, pp. 86-91. ISBN UNSPECIFIED

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Abstract

This paper considers how we might target Finite Element Analysis (FEA) towards improving the footwear development process, and looks at what evidence is available to suggest whether it is possible to successfully model footwear. The development process for footwear from conceptual idea to final product can be considered as a three phase iterative process – design, prototyping and migration to mass production. It is shown that this traditional production method is lengthy, costly and there is much room for improvement particularly in the prototyping phase. Each prototype shoe must be constructed, assembled, and tested and if it does not meet stipulated performance criteria, another design iteration is required. One method to reduce the number of iterations, improve efficiency, and improve the pre-production process, is to use virtual testing. FEA software may be used to produce a computer simulation of a proposed shoe that would imitate its geometry and material properties. Typical loading conditions could then be applied to the computer model and the performance of the shoe studied and evaluated without the cost of producing tooling. A discussion of how the virtual testing approach could be applied to the prototype phase is included. To justify this method, further initial approaches to simulating loading conditions to a basic shoe are given, where the results identify this method could potentially reduce time and cost. However, the results when compared to an actual shoe are only as accurate as the geometry and material properties inputted. Virtual testing could potentially drastically reduce time and cost of new product introduction, benefiting the overall footwear industry.

Item Type:Book Section
Additional Information:This paper considers how we might target Finite Element Analysis (FEA) towards improving the footwear development process, and looks at what evidence is available to suggest whether it is possible to successfully model footwear. The development process for footwear from conceptual idea to final product can be considered as a three phase iterative process – design, prototyping and migration to mass production. It is shown that this traditional production method is lengthy, costly and there is much room for improvement particularly in the prototyping phase. Each prototype shoe must be constructed, assembled, and tested and if it does not meet stipulated performance criteria, another design iteration is required. One method to reduce the number of iterations, improve efficiency, and improve the pre-production process, is to use virtual testing. FEA software may be used to produce a computer simulation of a proposed shoe that would imitate its geometry and material properties. Typical loading conditions could then be applied to the computer model and the performance of the shoe studied and evaluated without the cost of producing tooling. A discussion of how the virtual testing approach could be applied to the prototype phase is included. To justify this method, further initial approaches to simulating loading conditions to a basic shoe are given, where the results identify this method could potentially reduce time and cost. However, the results when compared to an actual shoe are only as accurate as the geometry and material properties inputted. Virtual testing could potentially drastically reduce time and cost of new product introduction, benefiting the overall footwear industry.
Keywords:footwear, finite elements, virtual testing
Subjects:J Technologies > J445 Footwear production
H Engineering > H300 Mechanical Engineering
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Sport and Exercise Science
ID Code:3965
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:08 Feb 2011 23:03
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:37

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