3D Printed Shoes

3D Printed Shoe

3D printed shoes are interesting… when I go back to my first exposure to the RepRap movement, I remember Adrian Bowyer talking about printing shoes for your kids, and then recycling the plastic to print new shoes when they outgrow them. It was a powerful idea, because it speaks to recycling, customization, and self-sufficiency.

Recently all the posts I’ve seen about 3D printed shoes show them as fashion pieces, which I have no interest in. I mean, it’s interesting, but I don’t find them practical, and they don’t apply to what I would want or need.

But the latest article Could The World’s Fastest Shoe Really Have Come From A Printer? got me thinking. Mainly this part:

Designed to Win, as Fusaro calls it, is fabricated through selective laser sintering (SLS), a method for creating solid objects by fusing powdered materials with a CO2 laser. The process allows Fusaro to take 3-D scans of a runner’s foot, use digital tools to cater the stiffness of the soles to the athlete’s physical abilities, then print the shoes out of nylon polyamide powder, a material that is “one of the strongest in the range of additive manufacturing,” Fusaro says.

One of the things I really hate about shoe shopping (not just for me, but for my kids) is that you need to deal with size issues. You find the shoe you like, and it’s not in your size. Maybe the store can call another location and see if they have the size. Maybe you use Zappos and they ship the shoes to you to try on, and you send them back if they don’t fit. Bah… wasteful!

The idea of scanning your feet for a perfect fit is awesome. Quite a step up from that metal foot ruler device with the sliding pieces.

What other articles of clothing could benefit from a 3D scan of your body?


Hacker. Maker. RepRap Enthusiast.

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One comment on “3D Printed Shoes
  1. Karel K says:

    I think of hats, glasses (especially the ear-part and the nose-support-part)?

    Possibly underpants? I mean – try finding underpants with a tight fit around my hips, but not too tight in the other part.
    I believe something similar is already possible for bra’s?

    Body-protection stuff, like helmets for dangerous sports, chest pieces for soldiers / police officers?

    - Karel

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