The model maker is the individual who shapes the last from this point forward. There are instances however, that a foot bed, duplicating the plantar surface of the last is either necessary or ordered for comfort. These were called orthopedic foot bed lasts. Today, foot bed lasts are not only relegated to orthopedic, they are requested for upscal bespoke footwear to provide maximum comfort for customers. In the past, foot beds were carved into the last blank according to the footprint of the customer. They were artistically sculpted by a ped-orthopedist.
Today, new developments have occurred in a technology that has superseded the ped-orthic having to be a foot sculptor too.
First are the scanning and Cad/Cam technological advancements that have allowed many ped orthotic labs to make foot beds and turn lasts with foot beds in them. As wonderful as this may seem on the outside the draw back of such advancements is that behind the scanner and technology is a bank of pre-programmed parameters that isn't simulating your customers foot at all. It is trying to fit your customers foot into a parameter, like trying on various types of pre made shoes.
As we study feet, we learn to realize that no two-foot pair is exactly alike and often with in that foot pair neither foot is exactly alike. So why should we assume in our technology that that are? Bespoke footwear makers can add another level of comfort for thier customers by building thier footwear on hand modeled physological lasts.
Your instructor will teach you how to look at a duplicated foot ( a foot model) differently. We do not build last that are foot models with toe boxes on them! We see and utilize the foot model as a last blank. Thus, the resulting last is a last with a cone, toe spring, clip and all the features one would expect in a last from the highline up. However, from the highline down, is the duplicated foot bed. At last making school, we believe that lastmaking with a foot model is a good way to get new last makers used to shaping lasts, and for those experienced orthopedists and professional footwear makers, a new tool in their way to satisfying customers.