Apr 19, 2017 | By Tess

Two design students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw have designed and crafted a line of customizable 3D printed shoes. The shoes, which are made from eco-friendly materials and can be customized by the wearer through an app, were prototyped and 3D printed using Polish 3D printer manufacturer ZMorph’s Multitool 3D printer.

There is no question that the fashion and retail industries are some of the most wasteful manufacturing sectors on the planet. Not only are garments and footwear mass produced, but each piece made generates its own material waste and consumes valuable resources such as water. The footwear manufacturing industry especially is said to use about 25 thousand liters of water to produce just a single pair of shoes.

As the technology advances, however, 3D printing is starting to offer a viable alternative to mass manufactured shoes, with high profile companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour exploring its potentials more and more. The recent work done by design students Zuzanna Gronowicz and Barbara Motylinska is another example of how 3D printing can be used to make bespoke, eco-friendly footwear.

While the student-designed 3D printed shoes might not be to everyone’s taste, they are undeniably impressive, as they combine sustainable manufacturing and materials with full functionality. Interestingly, the designers developed their own unique method for manufacturing the shoes, which consisted of printing parts of the shoe directly onto wool and cotton. This technique allowed them to create flexible and breathable shoes that can be assembled without the need for glue or additional sewing.

This method was used to create the shoe’s upper, while an adjustable parametric openwork structure was developed for the shoe’s sole. The sole, which somewhat resembles the complexly designed mid-soles that Adidas and other athletic brands have been developing, is light, flexible, and can be 3D printed with virtually no supports. This means that the soles can be 3D printed using only a small amount of material.

To manufacture the shoes, Gronowicz and Motylinska used both the standard plastic extruder and the Dual Pro toolhead for the ZMorph Multitool 3D printer. According to the designers, the single material extruder was used mainly for printing parts with flex filaments, while the dual extruder was used to print parts with soluble PVA supports as well as segments with color gradients.

And while the shoe is not quite at the point of market readiness, the designers have also created an app for their 3D printed shoes which allows users to input their foot measurements and choose a color scheme and style. The idea for the app is that users can choose to order the shoes directly from it, or can save the STL files and 3D print the shoes themselves.

Like with other promising 3D printed garment projects, we are excited to see how Gronowicz and Motylinska’s 3D printed shoes and their customizing app develop further.

(Images: Gronowicz & Motylinska)



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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Bill wrote at 4/19/2017 6:00:04 PM:

How about a more info on the app.

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