Christmas came early in the OESH factory this year with the arrival of our very own CNC Knitting Machine!
With our NSF Phase II SBIR grant, we were able to purchase the latest and greatest Stoll industrial knitting machine for our Charlottesville factory. Knitting is standard in the footwear industry, and OESH is no exception. That is why two types of OESH shoes are already knit, the Lea and the new Dream flats.
As most OESHers already know, our 3D printed soles made exclusively in our Charlottesville factory are especially awesome. They are comfortable, durable, and healthy by design, but so far, we have been limited to only making sandals with 3D printed soles. With the new knitting machine, we will be able to make certain styles of shoe uppers that complement our 3D printed soles right here in our factory! This is especially exciting for me, because it means I don’t have to knit and crochet prototypes by hand anymore! The knitting machine is much faster than I am- no John Henry style competition required.
Having our own CNC knitting machine opens a whole new world of possibilities for us. By combining these two types of on demand manufacturing, CNC knitting and 3D printing, we could be able to offer fully custom shoes in the future! We currently offer custom sandals for a whole range of differences including leg length discrepancy and unique foot shapes and sizes.
If you’re interested in manufacturing in Virginia, check out this surprising blog post by Casey about everything you didn’t know you wanted to know about spandex.
Bonus: Watch this quick time lapse of the knitting machine arriving at the factory!