Vans Waffle Works
The US-American sports shoe manufacturer VANS is specialized in trend sports such as skateboarding and snowboarding. The company's innovation department always tries to stay one step ahead of new trends and started a two-year project in 2015 to make customization even more future-oriented.
A central component of this project is an iOS application. This enables clients to have their custom designed VANS shoes produced in just 15 minutes. After the initial WebGL case study, redPlant was also hired to develop the productive iOS application.
The centerpiece of this app is the creation of a completely individual VANS Customs style. Users can upload their own images and place them on the shoe - for example clothing patterns, holiday pictures or drawings of their children. "You name it..." The design possibilities are really endless with this new technology.
In addition to the challenge of projecting the customer's 2D design onto the 3D model, the image section can be rotated, scaled and moved as desired.
The redPlant team developed a special combination of skillful unwrapping, special shaders and transformation matrices to ensure that the visual appearance of the final sneaker and the 3D preview really match.
The app is connected to a specially developed heat-vacuum-machine, which transfers the individual texture from the app to the real shoe. With one click the order is placed. VANS guarantees that the shoe is ready for collection within only 15 minutes.
The Waffle Works program has been 2 years in the making. Vans commissioned a special heat vacuum machine to built from the ground up in London. The process is simple. Take an image you'd like to have on a pair of shoes, upload it to the program, print, press, and wear. From concept to product in 15 minutes of less. We were shown this amazing new process by Safir Bellali, the Director of Design Innovation at Vans. Safir and his crew snapped a photo of Steve Van Doren's shirt and had a custom pair of perfectly matching Authentics before he even finished describing the process. Even the film transfer paper use is something new. The proprietary blend is made of recycled polyester film which is heat transferred to the shoes in the specially designed vacuum machine. Source