Not all startups are about high-tech development or smart apps for mobile devices. Any gadget that simplifies people’s lives has the potential to become a unique and sought-after product. Shooclee is an excellent example of just that. Read on to discover the company’s product and how 3D printing was used in its development.
Shooclee is a technology for the safe machine washing of canvas and sports footwear. The product is simple: it is essentially two shoe holders on an arm that locks into place inside the drum of a washing machine. It is so easy to use that even teenagers can figure it out. The technology targets people fond of exercising, sports, and hiking. It will also come in handy for those preferring canvas shoes (e.g., sneakers and sports shoes) in general. The startup helps people keep their shoes clean and hygienic.
How the startup began
The technology was developed by Alexei Nesmeianov—an engineer, programmer, and father of two. Combining work, an active lifestyle, and parenting, he is constantly moving between the office, parks, and gyms. The idea for Shooclee occurred to him when he returned home, and his shoes were dirty from playing with kids in the park.
After scouring major international marketplaces, he concluded that there was no simple, convenient way of machine-washing sneakers. Instead, all he found were wash bags, which are not ideal for shoes.
Therefore, the programmer set off to develop a prototype holder by himself.
The Shooclee team assembled the first prototype from smartphone holders but subsequently decided to hire engineers to streamline the design and create a production prototype.
Use of 3D printing
The high quality of materials and precise dimensions required special attention during the design stage to meet stringent tolerances. Initially, the team used laser printing to produce product parts. However, this technology was unsuitable because of poor material strength and the final product’s use in an aggressive environment.
After several tests and experimentation with product dimensions and materials, Shooclee decided to approach Infomir 3D Printing. The final build was printed with the MJF powder-based printing technology on an industrial-grade HP Jet Fusion 5210 3D printer from the HP PA 12 polyamide. The resulting builds were light, durable, and resistant to moisture and chemicals.
With the MJF printing technology, Shooclee achieved the required product specifications, and the build required no finishing. The order was delivered fast—within five working days—which is especially important for someone launching a startup.
The team is planning to continue working with Infomir 3D Printing and use MJF technology for its other products:
Stanislav Plyusnin, CEO of Shooclee.club We are using 3D technologies for prototype testing, pre-production prototyping, and making presentation samples. Working with Infomir is sheer joy for us because they have a team of top-notch professionals and high-tech equipment.
The startup is negotiating with a European footwear and accessories store chain that is among the market leaders in sneaker and sportswear production. Also, it has finished preliminary talks with two major companies in the chemical industry. Shooclee is planning to attract investors in Q2 2022 and launch the product into mass production in Q4 2022, with the first target markets being the USA, the EU, and China.