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3D-based reconstruction using growing neural gas landmark: application to rapid prototyping in shoe last manufacturing

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Customizing shoe manufacturing is one of the great challenges in the footwear industry. It is a production model change where design adopts not only the main role, but also the main bottleneck. It is therefore necessary to accelerate this process by improving the accuracy of current methods. Rapid prototyping techniques are based on the reuse of manufactured footwear lasts so that they can be modified with CAD systems leading rapidly to new shoe models. In this work, we present a shoe last fast reconstruction method that fits current design and manufacturing processes. The method is based on the scanning of shoe last obtaining sections and establishing a fixed number of landmarks onto those sections to reconstruct the shoe last 3D surface. Automated landmark extraction is accomplished through the use of the self-organizing network, the growing neural gas (GNG), which is able to topographically map the low dimensionality of the network to the high dimensionality of the contour manifold without requiring a priori knowledge of the input space structure. Moreover, our GNG landmark method is tolerant to noise and eliminates outliers. Our method accelerates up to 12 times the surface reconstruction and filtering processes used by the current shoe last design software. The proposed method offers higher accuracy compared with methods with similar efficiency as voxel grid.

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Correspondence to Antonio Jimeno-Morenilla.

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Jimeno-Morenilla, A., García-Rodriguez, J., Orts-Escolano, S. et al. 3D-based reconstruction using growing neural gas landmark: application to rapid prototyping in shoe last manufacturing. Int J Adv Manuf Technol 69, 657–668 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00170-013-5061-3

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  • Shoe manufacturing
  • Shoe last rapid prototyping
  • 3D surface reconstruction
  • Landmarking
  • Growing neural gas
  • Voxel grid