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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3D-Printed Shoes: The Next Step In Fashion?

It used to be that printing your plane tickets at home was cutting edge. Now companies are using three dimensional printers to quickly create almost anything. Three dimensional printing, otherwise known as additive manufacturing, has huge implications for doctors creating artificial limbs, soldiers in remote field locations and designers creating new fashion.

One of those fashion companies is Continuum Fashion, based in Cambridge, Mass. Jenna Fizel, along with her partner Mary Huang are the team behind Continuum and they have recently started offering a pair of printed shoes. Fizel says the inspiration for the design of the shoes comes from all sorts of places, from the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing to the basic building blocks of video games.

“It’s also to do with our obsession with combining a typical regular object and the digital expression of the object,” said Fizel.


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  • Kyle

    I teach a drafting and design class in Oklahoma, and I’ve had a 3D printer for about 3 years now. They have an amazing variety of uses. I have a friend that designed a house for a blind man, but was able to 3D model and print out the mans house so that he could “see” his house design by feeling what his home would look like and sign off on the design.

    They are really neat and is something that my students are very excited to design something for so that I can print it out for them.

  • Mary

    I cannot picture how this works.  It would be great if there was some sort of demo on your website.

  • Buzzes38784

    Why are they so expensive?

    • Rachel Rohr, Here & Now

      According to Jenna: “They’re $900 a pair, and that’s because of two major considerations. One is simply the cost of printing, and the other is that these shoes are entirely custom to you. You choose whether you want a stiletto or a wedge shoe, what your heal height is. We use not only your size measurements but also photography to adjust our model to exactly your foot. So it’s the labor that is involved.”

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