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Parametric 3D-printed sneaker made from a single material

Luftkuss Atelier

The innovative 3D printed sneakers “Print 001” stands out with its parametric design that takes the shape of the wearer’s foot and its single-material structure that facilitates production and recycling.

Print 001 bears the signature of Nathan Smith, who introduces his designs with the Parametres brand. He uses design and materials sciences wisely to create a comfortable, stylish and easy-to-wear sneaker. Similar to Crocs’ use of a single injection molded material, Print 001 relies on 3D printing for the production of its design, which is created using parametric algorithms.

So, what is a parametric design? Parametrics is a studio specializing in parametric design. This approach is a design paradigm in which the relationship between elements is used to guide and inform the design of complex geometries and structures. It therefore requires the use of computational parameters that help guide the design process.

The parameters are set from human design and the computer creates a form that fulfills these parameters in the most efficient way. The product was born as a joint design effort between human and computer. In this shoe example, Nathan Smith uses a special algorithm to create a form that hugs the foot perfectly and offers the same amount of flexibility while using less material.

Recently, it has been predicted that 3D printing and parametric design together could revolutionize the shoe industry. 3D printing is increasingly being used, even by sportswear giants like Adidas, to design forms that cannot be made with traditional manufacturing methods. On the other hand, the parametric design makes it possible to use the foot shape and size of the user as parametric inputs. This makes the shoes incredibly comfortable, personal and unique for the wearer.

Print 001 consists of interesting triangular structures. Thanks to this triangular mesh matrix, it can wrap the user’s feet. Made from TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane), the shoe is as flexible and breathable as a pair of Crocs. Although it is debatable how useful it will be and whether there is a more environmentally friendly alternative to the material used, it is important as an experimental project on what a parametric shoe might look like. It also provides insight into how 3D printing will affect the sneaker industry.

Insprad Creative Agency

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