785x600_3dshoes9_133D printed shoes are a relatively new development, but they’re certainly a big development, and a fast-growing one. The increasing variety and availability of flexible 3D printing materials has led to a number of major shoe manufacturers creating fully or partially 3D printed shoes, as well as new companies arising to specialize in printed footwear. To someone unfamiliar with the technology, 3D printed shoes may sound like a gimmick or a short-lived trend, but they’re anything but. 3D printing allows for customized fit on a level not possible with any other technology, not to mention materials that offer better shock absorption and support. This is one trend that isn’t going anywhere.

If  you’re unable to envision the process of 3D designing and printing shoes, you now have the opportunity to learn hands-on how it’s done, courtesy of designer Daniel Garcia. A graduate of Otis College of Art and Design, Garcia specializes in 3D designing consumer products, particularly toys. He has worked with major film production companies such as Disney, Pixar, Fox and Dreamworks to create toy lines, and recently he began to explore the 3D design and printing of footwear.

He has already worked with footwear and apparel companies Quiksilver and DC Shoes, and now he is working alongside educational institutions including the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM). Located in California, FIDM trains students for careers in the fashion industry, which is in a state of transformation right now as digital technologies change the way design and fabrication are done.

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FIDM’s digital medial room

FIDM’s downtown Los Angeles campus, one of the four the school owns in California, will host a workshop next weekend, in partnership with Garcia, focused on 3D shoe design. On Saturday November 5 from 9AM to 4PM, participants will have the opportunity to learn how to design shoes for 3D printing using Rhino 5.0. Students will learn, from demonstrations and exercises, how to develop 3D curves from a shoe last, as well as the outsole design of a sandal and for foam and rubberized footwear.

“This course is the first of its kind for this school and for this industry,” says Garcia. “I believe there is a big future in 3D Shoe design and 3D printing, and I am excited to be able to introduce this class In Los Angeles for the first time.”

Registration costs $155 for FIDM students and alumni, and $165 for non-alumni. Space is limited – at this time, there are only 14 spots left, so register now if you’re interested. Attendees may bring their own laptops if they wish, equipped with the DEMO version of Rhino 5.0, though the lab also has computers available.

According to Garcia, this workshop is only the first in a series he will be offering in 3D design methods and technology, so we’ll keep you posted on what comes next. Discuss in the 3D Printed Shoe Workshop forum at 3DPB.com.

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