3D printed technology is quickly coming up in the fashion industry. Designers are producing 3D printed jewelry, bags, and even fabric clothing. It’s not surprising since this new technology allows designers to come up with new ways of designing fashion items.
In the bold fashion industry, additive manufacturing has allowed the creativity of many designers to unleash. Most of the collections produced are unique and personalized. Additionally, the collections are capable of surprising due to their geometries and shapes. If we take a little bit of keenness in the footwear industry today, we can clearly state that 3D printing skills have their part well played.
In the previous year, SmarTech Analysis foretold that the continued use of additive manufacturing in the industry was likely to generate almost $6.5 billion by the year 2029, which projected annual growth of 19.5% (Source). If a close look was taken at the number of total projects launched in the previous few years, from futuristic footwear, sneakers to sports shoes, 3d printing know-hows are established in almost every place.
Running In 3D Printed Shoes
One thing you are supposed to note is that it is not always the shoe itself that has been 3d printed, but also the whole outsole or the midsole. However, shoes and 3d printing make a fantastic pair and the following are some of the 3d in print shoes that will attest to this to you!
We’re not yet at a point where you can 3D print a pair of shoes, but there are companies who are working to get us there. In this post, we take a look at the top 3D printed shoes currently on the market.
Some Gorgeous Examples
Reebok can be classified as one of the most outstanding companies that have firmly established themselves in the footwear industry. A few years ago, Reebok decided to apply the use of additive manufacturing technologies to make soles for a small collection of their sports shoe collection.
Although the rest of the Reebok shoe has been crafted using the traditional methods, the famous Liquid Speed soles mix a maximum-fit sole. The chemical company, BASF, that used a liquid polyurethane material to produce soles associated with 3D printing for its development. A robot was used in the creation of the layers of the liquid material used in the formation of the pattern on the sole and shoe. In addition to the provision of greater durability and performance, the Liquid Speed has incorporated a very original design.
After Adidas made the crucial decision to use additive manufacturing to make their custom sneakers in 2018, this move generated a lot of attention from Adidas fans and sneaker lovers in general. Check out our article on the new Adidas 3D printed shoes! It displayed how the 3d printing technologies could be effectively used in series production that is beyond prototyping. In the same year, the sports dealership manufactured 100,000 3d printed pairs of sneakers, known as Futurecraft 4D using the Carbon’s CLIP process.
The Carbon’s 3D lithography expertise, CLIP, functions by ensuring a continuous projection of an order of UV images that are caused by a modern light projector, via an oxygen-penetrable, UV-transparent opening that is below a liquid mastic bath. This process is alike stereolithography (SLA). Adidas cast-off CLIP in the production of the 3D in print lattice soles for its latest at the time sneakers; Futurecraft 4D sneakers.
Not only is 3D printing famous for the addition of performance, courtesy of lattice structure, Adidas also revealed that 3D printing added a lot of flexibilities to its activities, from the reduction of lead times to making a shoe that could be completely customizable at a decent price. In December of 2018, Adidas announced the release of another 3d printed sneaker- The Alphaedge 4D sneaker, in collaboration with Carbon once more.
Prevolve was established around the famous barefoot movement to offer minimalist shoes that can empower the human body by ensuring that your feet are moving in a more natural way. The company is based in Seattle, Washington, and uses BioFusion technology to form completely custom-fit and more flexible material 3D printed shoes.
After gathering enough data on your feet, they are capable of creating a tailored 3D model of the same shoe. Following these steps, Prevolve sends the code to its 3d printer to form a shoe that has a sole thickness of between 7 and 14 mm depending on how much cushion you need and want.
Additionally, these shoes are also recyclable and are manufactured on demand which also brings the benefit of waste reduction.
4. Iris Van Herpen
Iris Van Herpen is undoubtedly one of the most famous 3d printing designers in the industry. The company is among the first firms that used additive manufacturing to make entire collections, from shoes to dresses. However, we are more interested in those created in collaboration with Rem D Koolhaas, the cofounder of the United Nude brand.
On the spectacular occasion of the Paris Fashion Week, the designer had imagined and made a beautifully crafted dozen pairs of entirely 3d printed shoes, inspired by a tree known as Banyan. The shoes are worn in the context of great fashion were made on a PolyJet 3d imprinter from Stratasys and in a variety of colors.
5. Native Shoes
The famous Canadian manufacturer Native Shoes launched the Liquid Printed Natives projects with the anticipation of making everyday objects using more advanced methods, such as additive manufacturing. To this end, the initiative sought to use liquid rubber as one of the production materials in 3d printing on footwear.
The manufacturer explained that they used a reprocessed ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) material in the achievement of a more flexible and rubber look. The aspect that stances out in the Native shoe project is the production speed, as the individuals who are in charge explained that the 3d printing expertise had made it probable to reduce the manufacturing time with great significance compared to the traditional methods.
Additionally, it gives consumers a high level of personalization when they are using footwear.
Wiivv (now FitMyFoot) is an upcoming Canadian company that specializes in the production of 3d printed flip-flops and insoles that are fully modified to the wearer’s morphology. With the help of a smartphone application, the users are directly able to scan their feet and send the data to the company and expect to receive a custom-made solution in a few weeks.
For instance, flip-flops, thanks to 3d printing, Wiivv can customize particular elements of these shoes such as the vertical strap or the straps. The aim is to offer more comfort and usability to the user. Wiivv has its machine park in San Diego and uses the SLS technology.