04 Jun DNA, The Custom 3-D Printed Running ‘Supershoe’ (with pic)
Shoes should be built with our individual anatomy and biomechanics as the foundation – Seattle based designer Pensar believes that footwear will be crafted with form, materials and colors fully mapped to our individual style and activity. Her newest concept “DNA 3D printed shoe” leverages 3D printing to create a shoe built not only to your foot contours, but also to how you move.
By pairing data acquisition, user behavior, and rapid prototyping it creates a method of mass-tailoring products.
First of all you put on a pair of training shoes with pressure sensors and accelerometers and go for a test run. When you come back to the store, your data can be uploaded and the system analyzes your biomechanics and generates a series of algorithms to develop a shoe that fits the way your body moves. “Pushing the algorithms further will allow the computer to design a shoe that improves your running form or compensates for imbalances.” notes Pensar.
After the computer crunches the data, you’ll modify the aesthetics, and the 3D printer can start to build your shoe. Within hours you have a shoe tailored to your foot, your movement, and your style. The form and functional possiblities are endless. Pensar explains.
An accompanying cartoon illustrates the process: customers enter a shoe store, take a run in pressure-sensitive, biometric-measuring test shoes, put the results through a machine, and watch in amazement as their dream shoes, designed to support in just all the right places, materialize before their very eyes. Boom, now everyone’s a super athlete with bionic feet. It all seems completely plausible. All that’s missing is the capital.
“As a design and engineering firm, we’re looking to team with a footwear manufacturer to pursue this project,” Diener said. “The budget required to realize a system like this would be significant and would require major investment in coding and 3D printing material technology. In sum, this is more of a concept, but the pieces of the puzzle exist, just waiting for a company to put them all together.