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If you want a picture of the future, imagine a shoe stamping on R2D2 — forever.
The Smithsonian's Design Decoded blog reports on the latest developments in 3D printed footwear, including the fashion designers and students who are experimenting with printing out shoes using cheap materials that only last for "one lap down a runway." As Andrew writes on the Makerbot blog, "the artist worked with what was available to push the limits of the design, and the design will drive the demand for the needed materials. This is truly a case where life will catch up to imitate the art." Sarah C. Rich expands:
As materials science advances, injection molding may give way to 3D printing—a strategy that’s widely used in design studios for pushing formal boundaries, but as yet not ubiquitous on the footwear market. Most polymers used in 3D printers are too hard and inflexible to make a comfortable shoe, although fashion students and designers have not been deterred from producing them, if only for one lap down a runway. The existing concepts invariably look rather sci-fi, with web-like lines that wrap the foot.
Swedish designer Naim Josefi envisions a consumer environment in which a shopper’s foot would be scanned in-store, and a shoe printed on demand that perfectly fit the wearer’s anatomy. Brazilian designer Andreia Chaves’s Invisible Shoe pairs a common leather pump with a 3D-printed cage-like bootie, while Dutch fashion designer Pauline van Dongen’s Morphogenesis shoe more closely resembles a platform wedge. And at the London College of Fashion, student Hoon Chung created a line of 3D printed shoes for a final project, which look perhaps the closest to contemporary styles, though the molded shapes betray a high-tech production method.
(Image: Andreia Chaves’s Invisible Shoe)
Converse will release two different styles of Super Mario low-top in Japan in March 2012 -- I like the overall look, though I think I'd prefer them in canvas over leather.
It comes in a black and a white premium leather version, with the Converse star logo being replaced with the star icon from the iconic video game. Furthermore the colors of the sneaker have been adapted to the signature colors of the Super Mario character and the Super Mario Bros., Mario and Luigi, are printed on the heel of the sneakers.
Larsie, a Thingiverse user and MakerBot owner, whipped up these 3D-printed shoelace-toggles for his kindergarten-aged son's sneakers, helping the lad tighten his own shoes:
Tying knots in shoelaces has got to be one of the most ridiculous activities in the world. It’s difficult to learn as a child,1 the laces always come undone at inconvenient times, you can trip on them when they do, and you never notice until its too late. Thankfully I don’t remember the days when I was frustrated with the vagaries and inefficiencies that are shoelaces. 2
Can you imagine putting yourself in larsie’s son’s place? 3 The poor guy was so frustrated with tying his shoes that he didn’t want to wear them on the way to kindergarten! Thus, today’s MakerBot hero is larsie for leaping into action and realizing he could design and print spring-operated toggles so quickly he could get his child to school on time!
StarWarsRemix.com launched August 30th with an entry from Noah himself, make sure you check out his Aspirin Stormtroopers. Since then they’ve continued the creative flow with blasters set to kill, even Charlton from Burger 365 came up with the Twist TIE Fighter. In the spirit of the numerous sneaker gas masks from the Branding Wars/MASK365 I chose to create a stormtrooper helmet made from the exclusive Adidas X Star Wars Superskate Mids. This was the first piece that required more than one pair of shoes to create and it gave me hell. I pushed through and couldn’t be happier with the result. The best part about it is it’s being sold on eBay right now.Star Wars X Adidas X Freehand Profit – SneakerTrooper Helmet (Thanks, Noah!)
The Nike Mag, based on the sneakers seen in the popular motion picture Back to the Future II, is finally in existence.
The NIKE MAG is no longer the “greatest shoe never made.” The mythical shoe that originally captured the imagination of audiences in Back to the Future II is being released – and they’re here to help create a future without Parkinson’s disease.
1,500 pairs are under auction at eBay to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Bids are already hitting five-figure sums.