The Dorsum team (Leo, Will and Steve) attended the Northwest Materials Show at the Oregon Convention Center on February 28th. This trade show, held twice per year in Portland, Oregon, bring some of the finest material innovators and suppliers in the textile and chemical industries. While we have attended the show previously, but this trip felt more productive than before because we are so much closer to a finished product!
Having a soft-goods prototype of our first product that is very close to being finished, we knew exactly the kinds of materials we needed to research, explore and source while attending the Material Show today. We were able to have some really informational and promising conversations with developers and manufacturers of innovative materials that could help us fine-tune the performance of our product.
This show has a more footwear-heavy focus compared to other materials shows, so it presented an interesting opportunity to explore materials and technologies being used in the footwear sector and discover applications for soft-goods and apparel solutions. Innovations like knitted shoe uppers and PU hot melts were particularly interesting for us, as we are continually looking for ways to better reduce the weight of our product and increase the comfort levels.
One of our goals heading into the show was to explore unique padding materials that may be used to improve comfort of the exospine component. We found a number of really innovative padding materials – from foams used in footwear midsoles and sock-liners to geometrically engineered soft plastics with tunable compression characteristics – we have some testing and prototyping to explore!
More than discovering possible material technologies that we can integrate into our product, what we really discovered is the depth of knowledge from the suppliers and manufacturers that were there which demonstrated the importance of selecting the best (for us) vendors that will be able to provide a level of expertise needed to take our product design and improve it for manufacturability. It’s an exciting time for us at Dorsum, and we’re pushing forward to make our back pain solution available to you as soon as possible!