Because of this history, consumers are put into two categories– the handmade or the mass-manufactured enthusiasts. Though manufacturing brought the price of shoes down (the average pair of shoes is now $50 and obtainable by most) some people still buy custom made shoes. They shell out upwards of $1,000 to do so, but it’s worth it to them to have sustainable, repairable shoes that actually fit their feet.
It doesn’t have to be this way. People can have quality shoes made with the help of machines, thanks to Don’t Run – Beta. Don’t Run – Beta is a company where old world craftsmanship meets modern technology. Don’t Run-Beta is pioneering a process using 3D printing to create shoes. In the Don’t Run-Beta model, the retailer becomes the manufacturer.
The shoe-making process takes about an hour. With the pieces and molds being created on the fly, those who use the Don’t Run- Beta system are able to create a variety of shoes at customer request. Don’t Run-Beta estimates that at least 75 percent of the waste used in making shoes would be eliminated if their system was adopted en masse. Retail stores would also be able to benefit since they would no longer have stockrooms full of unwanted shoes.
Juan Montero and Eugenia Morpurgo created Don’t Run-Beta after graduating from the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands. So far they’ve held test-runs of Don’t Run-Beta around Belgium and the Netherlands. The Don’t Run-Beta team says that their system for prototyping and production is fast, affordable and simple.
The company’s system uses laser cutters and 3D-printing to make shoe parts. Each piece of a shoe that Don’t Run-Beta makes is puzzle-like in that it is designed to fit together, so that there is no need for stitches or glue.The design also allows for the shoes to be repaired easily.
In addition to the pieces that make up the shoe, the team uses computer aided design to make shoe molds. The molds determine the actual shape of the shoe. Currently, during the modern shoe manufacturing process, each shoe uses two molds. The Don’t Run-Beta system switches things up by storing the data for the molds digitally, so that there is no need to store molds in a factory. The Don’t Run-Beta team is currently working to lessen the production time and apply their process to other apparel and accessories.
What do you think? Would you consider buying a pair of these shoes? Discuss in the Don’t Run – Beta Shoe Forum thread on 3DPB.com