The design of sneakers

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Table 4

Martin Sallières, Shoe Lab, 2017 - 2018

For his graduation project at the Design Academy of Eindhoven, Martin Sallières explores new manufacturing processes. Using a 3D pen, he creates shoes from one material only: polyurethane thread. Inspired by nature and its forms, the designer imagines a type of weaving close to the one created by spiders. The chemical properties of polyurethane give density, flexibility and thickness to the thread. The final shoes, flexible and light, are equipped with 3D printed soles, that mimic the weaving aesthetics.

Martin Sallières, projet Shoelab, 2018
© Martin Sallières

Christophe Guberan in collaboration with  Carlo Clopath and Self-Assembly Lab (MIT, Boston)
Active Shoes, 2015

The technique developed by Christophe Guberan uses FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling), a printing technology developed by the company Stratasys. A 3D printer lays a thin layer of thermoplastic on anelastic synthetic fabric. The thickness of the layer forms the desired shape. On the fabric, the model shapes itself after the passage of the printer. Therefore, the technique could be adapted to design tailor-made shoes. The active fabric can keep on withits transformation to fit the exact form of the foot. Not only does this process considerably reduce the production steps, but it allows to appreciate the textile properties such as translucency, lightness and flexibility. FDM offers the possibility to use different thermoplastics and therefore benefit from other properties.

Zuzanna Gronowicz and Barbara Motylinska
Shoetopia, 2017

After graduating from the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts in industrial design, the two designers offer a sustainable production chain with a 3D printed sneaker model. They developed an application which makes possible to design a shoe according to anyone’s size and taste. The personalized design is then turned into a digital file. Printing can be done at home with a 3D printer or the file can be sent to a printing center. The different parts of the shoe can be assembled by the user, without using glue. This process puts the customer in charge. The shoes are made from flexible and biodegradable materials, and from natural textiles, so they are easily recyclable.

Shoetopia: 3D printed biodegradable shoes that fit everyone ...           
© Zuzanna Gronowicz & Barbara Motylinska