A thesis project from designer Pavla Podsednikova explores the possibility of 3D printing shoes in custom sizes as guided by mapped out feet. In addition to being able to produce the perfect size, the concept also allows for shoe designs to be customized to consumer wishes.
Using new technologies (3D printing, ABS vacuum shaping, carbon fiber lamination) anyone could have their feet digitized in 3D in order to produce perfect-fitting shoes from a library of different designs.
The designer developed a number of concepts including a shell-like shape that feels like the shoe is the organic extension of the foot, a kind of “shoe skeleton” that holds the feet only at the necessary pressure points, a shoe that uses the inner part as an exchangeable component so you can wear it as pumps or wellingtons, and 3D printed designs that show shape doesn’t have to be subordinate to function. Podsednikova writes:
In a time when everyday items are mass-produced, I feel the need to find a way back to their individualisation. Due to the need for another boot structure than those normally used, I cast my own feet, and according to them created a new boot. In this way a collection of shoes made to measure just for me was created. I’m also interested in looking to the future – everyone can have a digitised 3D scan of their feet, according to which bespoke shoes could be produced. It would not be a problem to change the design of the shoes (could be a collection of designs on the Internet) and then manufacture the shoes exactly according to the desired proportions.
Click through to see images of the shoe designs: