Hi guys,

the enclosed images show the inner part of a left shoe. I was asked by a shoemaker, whether I’m able to design/produce the right shoe. The original part is completely broken, but the customer of the shoemaker wants him to try everything to repair his shoes. He came to me and now it’s also my problem ;-).

So my questions are

  • does someone know, whether it is possible to 3d scan the left shoe and somehow mirror it with any tool and print it out?
  • what kind of material would you recommend? The woman wearing the shoes has about 60 kilograms (~132 pounds).

Thanks for any advice.


It can be scanned and mirrored in the slicing software, no problem. Is that a rigid material or flexible material?

Mirroring it with the slicer. This is something I definitely could have known by myself ??‍♂️. I’ve used this function already a few times. The original material is very stiff and lightweight.

I have heard of nylon being used for shoe soles. I have printed with Taulman 645 and it prints very nicely. Nylon would be lightweight and very tough.

Also, I wouldn’t try and scan the left shoe, I would just use CAD software like Fusion 360 to model it. It looks like a simple design that could be done fairly easily.

There you go. Sounds like a plan to me. Take care.

This might be one of the coolest 3D jobs I’ve seen in a long time! Not that it’s all too complex but it really emphasizes how useful a 3D printer can be for consumers. Nice work!

And yes, scan/mirror in slicer. But, my preference would be to scan as STL into CAD then refine it from there. It has been a long time since I’ve scanned anything, but my recollection is that 3D Scanning can be less than useful on its own.

You could also 2D scan (aka take a picture :)) then create 2D views that you would stitch together.

If you do 3D scan into your slicer and mirror it, I’d really like to know how that works out for you.

Thanks for the advice. Have to check whether my Flashforge Dreamer can handle Nylon.

I have printed with nylon and it seems to me that it would be very flexible when done. If it is supposed to be very stiff, try PETG. It is very strong and will give just the right amount of flex and stiffness.

This is of course also an option, but it’s really difficult because the shoes need to be exactly the, just mirrored. Imagine if there is just the slightest difference in the height, length or width l. You would recognize that immediately when wearing the shoes. On the other hand, this may also happen when scanning and mirroring the left shoe.

You are right, this is definitely a project to show what’s possible with 3d printing. This is the reason why I want be sure to do it the right way. It has to fit perfectly. I already did some test with photogrammetry (2d -> 3d), but unfortunately it didn’t work well. Not sure whether it’s the model, bad lighting or the camera. It worked quite well for most of the model, but it didn’t get the front side of the shoe, because it curved upwards and it seems that the shadow under this part drives the software nuts. I decided now to borrow an Xbox 360 kinect and give it a try. Maybe this works better. If not, I will have to design it with Fusion 360. Thanks for the advices.