Jun.15, 2013

'Your shoes are amazing! Where did you get them?' - 'Oh, I printed them off.' If you have a 3D printer, you can print out your own Jimmy Choo style shoes.

(Slater's 3D printed shoe. Credit: DailyMail)

British Daily Mail Reporter Lydia Slater designed her own high heels shoes. "I've always fancied a pair of red shoes — I have a favourite red dress and no suitable footwear to wear with it." Says Slater. Slater brought her design to iMakr, the world's largest 3D printing store recently opened in London which offers a print-on-demand service.

Using a CAD software, designer Gianmarco Colalongo at iMakr transformed Slater's ideas and sketches into a 3D model on screen. The 3D files was then sent to a 3D printer. Slater's shoes were printed out in layers of 0.3mm thick using ABS plastic.

"They look extraordinary." said Slater when she received the package from the shop. "Made of hard plastic, with no give in the sole, they do feel as if I'm wearing Lego on my feet, and there's an ominous creak when I put them on. But I figure that as long as I can stand the discomfort for five minutes, I can still make an entrance at my party."

The most important thing is, there is only one pair like this in the world. With the increasing popularity of 3D printing technology, consumers can just make their own brand of products without having to rely on suppliers and manufacturers.

A pair of Jimmy Choo shoes costs around £222

But the price is still a big obstacle. iMakr charges £10 an hour to run its 3D printers. Since it took 24 hours to print the shoes out, with £10 extra for the materials, they are therefore worth about £250. On the other hand, it is not possible yet to print out a comfortable, practical pair of shoes on a desktop 3D printer.

But we still can see all these will happen in a longer term and it will be how we live in the future. 'At the moment, we're consumers — we have to take what we're offered,' says Sylvain Preumont, French engineer and founder of iMakr. 'In the future, we will create and adapt objects to our needs. We'll all be designers.'



Posted in 3D Printing Services



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