While it’s always exciting to see what’s striding down the runway next regarding 3D printing and apparel, footwear is a truly relevant area for this technology in terms of providing real-world change, functionality, and convenience. And while we love reporting on numerous artistic statements adorning the feet in 3D from high fashion to avante-garde architectures, what’s really needed is help with the every day, common sense shoe or sneaker. The greatest need and the greatest innovation for 3D printed footwear lies in personal customization and comfort due to real fit.
It almost seems archaic to think in this day and age of progressive technology that we go to the store and are expected to fit our feet, long and short, wide or skinny–into nearly the same boxy shape. Now, with the help of NinjaFlex, a talented graduate student from Philadelphia University by the name of Matthew Flail is working to take the world of shoes into the future with Footprint Footwear.
Flail’s footwear doesn’t just stem from the design arena–there’s some serious left brain calculation going on as well in terms of algorithms, which is what the footwear designer uses to make sure that manufacturing is given an overhaul in the shoe department. New technology and innovation in textile application make a substantial contribution to the Footprint brand not only in helping users, but also the environment, as an enormous amount of material is wasted in traditional manufacturing throughout nearly the entire process.
Shoe-lovers everywhere should rejoice at the idea of having shoes made exactly to the specifications of their own feet, offering the ultimate in comfort, and reducing pressure and actual damage to the body due to misaligned footwear and the very basic–and all too common–ill fit.
“Through case-specific advisements from certified podiatrists and pedorthists we analyze individual foot structure and gait pattern to create unique footwear solutions that are built exactly to your specifications,” states Flail on his website.
The shoes feature:
- A 3D-knit upper, all one piece, which is then steam molded around the foot
- 3D printed midsole and support – generated with computerized algorithm
- Rubber traction
- Standard laces
“[NinjaFlex] has a unique ability to resist deformation under heavy stress,” says Flail.
Footprint Footwear features both form and function with a contemporary aesthetic and health-oriented design. With the comprehensive process afforded by 3D scanning, algorithmic model development, 3D printing and advanced textile applications, traditional shoe-making is going to have some serious competition.
How do you think 3D printed shoes would help you or someone you know who is challenged with footwear or a related health issue? Discuss in the 3D Printed Footprint Footwear forum over at 3DPB.com.
You May Also Like
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: May 16, 2021
Even as we get closer to the official start of summer, that doesn’t mean the amount of webinars, virtual events, and live events are going down; in fact, the opposite...
3D Printing Webinar and Event Roundup: May 9, 2021
We’ve got another full week of AM industry webinars and events to tell you about, so let’s not waste any time on the introductions—jump right in! SPE’s ANTEC 2021, with...
Link3D Launches AMWatch for Monitoring and Controlling 3D Printing Variables
On the heels of its likely acquisition by Materialise, Link3D is continuing its development of technology for manufacturing execution systems (MES). The latest news from the company is the launch...
Materialise Opens €7.5M Metal 3D Printing Facility
Belgian 3D printing provider Materialise is growing. Not only did it recently announce an option to acquire MES software developer Link3D, but the company has also opened a new 3,500...
View our broad assortment of in house and third party products.