Apr 24, 2016 | By Tess

Within the realm of 3D printed fashion, some of the coolest, most innovative designs have come about through the design of 3D printed shoes, as a number of innovative designers have used the technology to create unique wearables that could easily be considered works of art. Among those innovative designers is Silvia Fado, who has consistently combined fashion with architecture, and 3D printing with traditional shoe making practices to make some seriously stunning women’s footwear.

Fado, who spent a month acquainting herself with 3D modeling and printing technologies, was drawn to the technology for its versatility of design as well as the number of new materials she could use with it. Rather than bring her designs to 3D printing services, however, Fado invested in her own 3D printer and has been working with the ZMorph 2.0 S 3D printer since, which is capable of not only 3D printing, but also of CNC milling and laser cutting.

As mentioned, in her designs Silvia Fado has expertly combined both state of the art 3D printing techniques with more traditional leather forming practices. The combination of old and new has resulted in several amazing footwear collections, each bearing Fado’s distinct signature and style.

In her collection Kinetic Traces, for instance, Fado combined a relatively traditional looking leather shoe top with a futuristic looking heel made from a 3D printed base, and a number of industrial springs and pneumatic hydraulics. For her Carbonalise collection, she manufactured the shoe heels out of a carbon fiber material, which was strengthened and stylized with a metal strip, making for a sleek and modern design.

In one of her most recent designs, which she has called Ray of Liberty, Fado was inspired by New York’s Freedom Tower building, and has incorporated elements of its architecture into the impressive shoe design. The shoes, which were designed specially for Internet of Fashion Runway at New York Fashion Week last month, are made from a transparent filament material and have a changing color light source within them that glows and emits rays of light. Though we cannot attest to the wearability of the shoes, which themselves resemble skyscrapers, there is no denying that they are as innovative as they are beautiful.

The various 3D printing materials used in her shoe designs, which must be strong and durable, have been supplied by 3D printing filament company ColorFabb, who have sponsored the emerging fashion designer. In her future designs, Fado will reportedly keep experimenting with new 3D printing materials to find the best fit for a particular design and will begin incorporating more CNC milling and laser cutting into her manufacturing process.

3D printing has offered Silvia Fado a unique way to manufacture her shoes. The technology has allowed her to create structurally complex pieces for her footwear in small quantities, without necessitating much outside help. Importantly, it has also allowed her to quickly manufacture prototypes and to improve and tweak her designs in a cost and time efficient manner.

Silvia Fado recently completed a master’s in Fashion Footwear at the London College of Fashion and is currently based in Barcelona and London.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Robin Leech wrote at 4/24/2016 6:38:53 PM:

"made from a 3D printed base...and pneumatic hydraulics." Which is it? Pneumatic,(gas or air) or hydraulic(liquid)? It can only be one or the other, not "pneumatic hydraulics"- there's no such thing. Seeing as hydraulics use fluid which doesn't compress easily, I'd guess it uses pneumatics.

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