Decking out the feet of an Olympian is a task to be taken seriously. We are talking about famous tootsies and toes greatly revered by England. And they belong to none other than that of Amy Williams, 2010 gold medal winner for skeleton racing. She also, which may come as a surprise to those outside of Europe, is a presenter on The Gadget Show, and was very interested–along with the rest of the crew–to delve into the world of 3D printing and fashion during a feature on future apparel.
Because the segment featured a very tight deadline, designer Julian Hakes and his team turned to Ogle for help, as they are the leading supplier of models and prototypes in the UK, headquartered in Letchworth. With 60 years in the business, this is a company that knows how to handle progress and roll with new technology, in style.
It’s also important to note that this not Hakes’ first design trip down the runway with 3D printed shoes, as he is busy creating quite a portfolio of them currently, with samples of smaller wedge heels in different colors, some more extreme haute couture (and wild!) styles, as well as ankle boots and more.
Shown on London’s Channel 5 Television, everyone signed on for a short feature demonstrating how 3D printing is playing a growing role in the fashion industry. True to its name, The Gadget Show features all manners of new and fascinating electronics and technology, and the idea with the segment was to provide information on the technology of 3D printing, while knocking everyone’s socks off with an incredible pair of quite attractive, and yes, actually ‘wearable’ gold and black wedge shoes.
“We’re delighted to be involved in such a unique project, especially honoring a British Olympian,” said Ogle marketing and sales director Dave Bennion. “The latest technology provided by 3D printing is enabling innovation across all kinds of industries.”
The lower parts of the shoes, the heels, were printed using SLS 3D printing, offering a strong nylon foundation, while the uppers are made of soft leather. They not only look beautiful and offer a strong contrast against many of the other 3D printed shoes we’ve seen that look rather outrageous, but they also look comfortable and highlight the beauty of the feet rather than just the construction of the 3D printed shoes. Using this technology for making such a shoe also shows how versatile fashion designers can be with contemporary tools, as well as being open to them.
“3D printing and additive manufacturing are terms that are, today, frequently used synonymously to denote a group of additive processes that produce – or print – parts directly from 3D CAD data, one layer at a time,” said Bennion.
“These additive processes have emerged and been greatly developed during the last 20 years and have proved advantageous for a host of applications including concept models, functional prototypes, tooling patterns and, more recently, production parts.”
This isn’t the first foray the show has made into exploring 3D printing, but it was the first regarding how the technology is gaining a ‘foothold’ in the fashion industry, and these shoes are a perfect example of the rapid evolution we’ve seen regarding 3D printing in the apparel, and more specifically, shoe industry. They also exemplify how conventional techniques and materials can work with the technology in a complementary fashion, to turn out a fantastic product. Discuss this design in the 3D Printed Shoes of Gold forum on 3DPB.com.