Product customization aims to consider individual customers preferences in the design of new products, in order to directly involve them in the product development process and to maximize their satisfaction. It can be considered a key competitive factor and a “hot topic” in several industrial sectors, including luxury apparel goods and high-end footwear products. However, currently the design and manufacturing of customized shoes are carried out through artisanal and non-standardized processes, based on the individual expertise of operators.
The objective of this study is to define an innovative framework to support the different processes affected by customization. This framework is enabled by different digital technologies, as CAD-based tools, virtual/augmented reality systems, etc., opportunely integrated in the product development process. The main benefits related to the framework implementation in real industrial contexts are an increase of flexibility, the repeatability of processes, a higher efficiency in information exchange, a more effective involvement of final customers, and, as a consequence, the reduction of time to market and production costs for tailor-made shoes.