Dec 30, 2014 | By Simon

As 3D printing makes its way further into fashion, the amount of designs that have sprung out of the additive manufacturing technique are usually shaped in some form or another by that manufacturing process itself. While a designer is likely to achieve a high-quality print on an SLS 3D printer, a designer using a 3Doodler 3D printing pen is likely to run into some structural challenges.

For professional origami artist Kade Chan however, that doesn't seem to be the case:

Chan, who creatively operates under the name Kade Chan Origami Studio, has created everything from traditional origami animals to less-traditional fashion items including avant-garde origami scarves and shoulder spikes.

More recently, Chan took his creative hand to working with the 3Doodler to create a high heel shoe using traditional shoemaking methods. However Chan wasn't just focused on creating a typical high heel shoe; he wanted this design to be functional and wearable with a focus on reducing the amount of shock impact.

"Nowadays (there are) almost no high heels on the market that are absorbing the shock from the ground to your feet; it's painful for the ladies to wear high heels all day long, and it's harmful for their body, because all the shock impact from the ground to the body were absorbed by the spine," Chan told 3Ders.

"Therefore, I would like to design a high heel shoe that can absorb the shock by using the metal spring inside the heels; with the new technology 3Doodler (3D printing pen), you can create custom high heels according to your feet shape, which is more ergonomic."

Chan's approach is an interesting one, considering that he is crafting a shoe around a physical foot rather than 3D scanning a foot and building a model around the 3D scan data.

Starting with an existing high heel shoe, Chan reengineered it to incorporate a shock-absorbing spring in the heel and then used the existing form of the shoe to trace a pattern using the 3Doodler pen. Once the design was complete, he removed the upper from the existing shoe and incorporated the existing midsole and heel spring into the final design:

Building the shock absorber:

Patterning and 3Doodling the Shoe:

Final Shoe Design:

Chan isn't the only one who has been keeping additive manufacturing techniques that omit a traditional 3D printer alive in fashion, however.

Electroloom, a company founded by a trio of engineers focusing on biomedical, mechanical and computer engineering, wants to bring 3D printing to wearable clothes.

The Atlanta-based company has recently made a 3D printer that is able to print digital fabric files that can be shared and printed freely, including tshirts, beanies and hats, among other clothing items.

As more additive manufacturing technologies come to market -- as well as drop in price -- it's only a matter of time before designers and engineers like Chan and the Electroloom launch their own fashion lines based on 3D printed collections.


Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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