Oct 5, 2016 | By Tess

When most of us heard about the woman who stabbed her boyfriend to death with stilettos a couple years ago, we probably thought something along the lines of “no way!” or “how gruesome!” New York-based fashion tech designer Anna Karpman had a slightly different response, however, as the story inspired her to design a pair of 3D printed stiletto boots actually influenced by different weapon designs and styles. The result? A pair of not so lethal, but truly killer thigh high boots.

Karpman, who studied fashion at Parsons School of Design in New York, explains that when she heard about the violent shoe crime, she instantly became enthralled by the idea of the women’s stiletto as a weapon and began researching the history of stiletto shoes and various knives. (Fun fact: the word stiletto is actually the name of a type of knife or dagger with a very long thin blade, much like the shoe’s heel). For her own footwear design, Karpman was particularly inspired by khopesh knives from Ancient Egypt, the intricate and opulent daggers used by 17th century Ottoman sultans, as well as Hideki Kamiya’s Bayonetta from Platinum Games and Sega Video Games.

In designing the intricate heel of the boot, Karpman resorted to the only technologies that would allow her to create such an intricate piece: 3D design and 3D printing. As Karpman told 3Ders, “I come from a fashion background and started using Rhino and Solidworks about 2 years ago as it completely opened new possibilities for me in my design process. With the incorporation of 3D modeling and printing, I can further push my designs with this kind of technology.”

For the design of the 3D printed stilettos, Karpman used a combination of 3D scanning and 3D modeling—for which she used Rhino 3D with the T-Splines plug-in. As she tells us, her design process for the boots was relatively fluid, as once she had completed her research on stilettos and weapons, she mostly freestyled the design using her modeling software to find the best heel composition.

Once the design was complete, she printed the intricate and lethal looking heel on a MakerBot Replicator 2 3D printer out of an acrylic material. The heel, which took a total of 16 hours to print, was then chrome plated in 24k gold for a luxurious finish. Of course, the entire boot was not 3D printed, as Karpman also used one of her favorite natural materials, leather, to construct the boot’s body. As she explains, “I am currently furthering my work in bringing together more leather and tech components to create a love affair between fashion and tech. Everything is half 3D printed/half leather.”

The Stiletto as Weapon boots are not Karpman’s first venture into 3D printing however, as the fashion tech designer has also used additive manufacturing technology for a number of other projects, including a chess piece perfume bottle, a quite literal “hand purse”, grillz, and a dress embedded with 3D printed fragrance emitting flowers. The chess piece perfume bottle, a personal favorite, was 3D printed out of a combination of Gold Polished Stainless Steel by Shapeways, and a translucent resin.

“With the use of 3D printing in my work, I manifest more of my visions into 3D form and reality as I am really a 3D thinker,” explains Karpman. “Also coming from a background of fashion design with my adopted love for product + industrial design, it allows me to shake up the pre-existing aesthetic that 3D printed wearables already have through what's been done. I always enjoy watching the audience puzzled, as one wouldn't off the bat wouldn't guess that those components were in fact 3D printed.”

Fortunately for us, Anna Karpman is going to continue to integrate 3D printing into her stunning fashion tech designs, as she told us she is currently looking at experimenting with 3D textile design. Judging by her truly killer 3D printed stiletto boots, I think we can expect great things from the bourgeoning designer.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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