3D Printed Shoe
Recently we met up with Digits 2 Widgets’ Jonathan Rowley, he informed us his pet hate in the world of 3D printing is 3D printed shoes. “They’re not shoes, they’re clogs!” He ranted when talking about the types of 3D shoes you see in this BBC article.
Jonathan went on to talk about how he felt 3D printing was a complimentary manufacturing tool to traditional methods, detailing how his company is helping a pottery manufacturer produce more accurate, less expensive moulds for their pottery, traditional two part moulds are costly and restrictive.
So, perhaps, Earl Stewart’s shoes featured on Gizmodo this week might be more up Jonathan’s strasse. The 098 XYZ shoe combines traditional leather upper with a Nylon 3D printed sole.
Earl Stewart has been creating 3D printed shoes for some time and if you check out his Cargo Collective page you’ll see all manner of designs for 3D printed ballet pumps, inner soles and parametric shoes, but he told Gizmodo he felt this particularly mixed shoe is the first that could break through from being merely a concept to an actual product.
The shoes' Nylon sole is taken from a scan of his own foot thus maximizing comfort in the sole, meaning everyone could have a bespoke pair for relatively little money. The leather upper would aid practicality, seeing as it would be waterproof and a heck of a lot more comfortable around the lower ankle.
More to the point these shoes look like something you could wear in the street without funny looks in the street you'd have got from say the iPhone dock shoe (how does one answer the phone wearing them anyway? I'm not that flexible) The point Jonathan Rowley was trying to make about other 3D printed shoes, in their current guise, is that they are not practical, comfortable, nor do they look good, we’re pretty sure Earl Stewart’s could change his mind.