If you’ve let your mind take a brief stroll around the latest innovations involving both fashion and 3D printing technology, you’d probably notice some exciting things that have been happening right beneath your feet. 3D printed shoes have become a reputable commodity for a number of reasons, whether it relates to orthopedics, fashion, art, or a combination of them all. Major companies like New Balance and Adidas have thrown their hats into the 3D printed footwear race, while smaller tech-driven companies like Feetz have made 3D printing technology an integral part of their footwear production process.
Recently, five graduate students from the University at Buffalo decided to make a statement with their own 3D printed footwear, clamoring for world peace by utilizing this emerging technology. Their 3D printed shoe, which is called ‘Peace’, is a meeting point for art, technology, and fashion, making a powerful statement in a forward-thinking way. Not only do these 3D printed shoes promote a message of world peace, they also provide maximized comfort as well. The student team utilized data from smart insoles to map certain pressure points and optimize the comfort for each wearer. The insoles of the shoe are designed with customized contours and accurate profile built in regard to extensive human factors research and expert supervision.
To create this 3D printed shoe, the student team utilized a PolyJet system, a technology patented by Stratasys that works by curing photopolymers with a UV light source. The shoe is equipped with an advanced blend of flexible and stiff materials, the inner sleeve of the shoe is soft and supportive, while the outer body has ruggedness to deal with wear and tear. The current model of their 3D printed shoe is equipped with a blend of high-grade materials that are compatible with Stratasys PolyJet systems, including Tango Black Plus, Vero White, and Tango Plus.
Using 3D printing technology and high-tech materials, the graduate students created a two-in-one modular shoe that functions interchangeably as both a sandal and a shoe. The student team has implemented a ‘Slide & Clamp’ mechanism into the ’Peace’ shoe to provide stability and comfort to the wearer. To represent the call for world peace, a graphic of a world map and a dove is implemented into the shoe design, making for an artistically-driven show. With this graphic, the team intended to spread the warming message of love, unity, and world peace.
“We, the students at University at Buffalo have recently developed products that use 3D printing technology to showcase how art can be empowered using novel technologies and can impact our society,” said Dhruvay “DJ” Jain, the team leader and product designer. “For instance, one of our products is a 3D printed shoe which communicate the message of world peace.”
Their 3D printed custom-fitted shoe design had earned the student team first place in the 2016 International 3D Printing Competition, a competition organized by the Singapore Centre for 3D Printing at the Nanyang Technological University. Awarded back on May 17, the student team received the grand prize of $10,000, and were invited to Singapore to receive their praise. The competition required participants to use 3D printing technology to create functional eyewear or footwear.
And so, the five graduate students, Dhruvay Jain, Priyanka Nikam, Hardik Gandhi, Anshika Chourdhary, and Weihao Quall, decided to work together to design and create a custom-fit shoe that doubled as an artistic calling for world peace. The team was guided by the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) faculty members Chi Zhou and Lora Cavuoto, as well as the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) faculty member Wenyao Xu and CSE research scientist Feng Lin. It appears that the competition’s $10,000 top prize has enabled the students to further develop both their 3D printed ‘Peace’ shoe and their general use for 3D printing as well. According to the graduate student team, winning this competition has helped them to look into using 3D printing technology for other good-spirited applications, such as healthcare. Discuss this project further over in the 3D Printed Modular Shoe forum at 3DPB.com.[Source: Buffalo Rising]