These biodegradable shoe prototypes can be custom ordered and 3D printed

For shoes, 3D-printing may be the next logical step. The idea is that 3D-printed shoes could be an affordable way to manufacture customized shoes quickly. And two design students have already designed a prototype, 3D-printed shoe made of eco-friendly materials.

Zuzanna Gronowicz and Barbara Motylinska developed the unique shoe as part of their graduation project at the Acadamy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland. The duo plan to use this design, nicknamed Shoetopia, to start their own business.

Currently, billions of shoes are manufactured each year in Asia. A single shoe can use up to 30 different materials in its design, many of which are nearly impossible to recycle. Using a ZMorph multitool 3D printer, the two students were able to simplify production and reduce the number of materials. The only materials used are either natural textiles or flexible, biodegradable filaments.

While attempting to stiffen the shoe’s upper and give it a more urban design, Gronowicz and Motylinska developed a unique method of printing onto a material. This method allows the shoe to be constructed without any gluing or sewing. At the same time, this allows users to choose how their shoes look.

For comfort, creating a light and flexible sole is key. The final design features a parametric openwork structure that can accommodate various shapes of feet. This structure also reduces the amount of material needed to provide support and durability.

In addition to designing the shoes, Gronowicz and Motylinska designed the layout for a dedicated app. Using a smartphone or computer, users could design their own shoe and save them for free. Users could then either order the shoes directly through the app, search for a local 3D-printing workshop nearby, or print the shoes with their private printer. With the prepared algorithm, users wouldn’t need any specialized skills to put the shoes together.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

3D printers are finally affordable. Here are the best models under $500

3D printer prices have dropped dramatically over the past few years, but just because something is cheap doesn’t mean it’s worth buying. Here, we’ve rounded up all the cheap 3D printers that are actually worth spending your money on.

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.
Emerging Tech

Where are they now? A look back at last year’s Top Tech of CES winners

What happened to the 14 prize-winning products we singled out as the coolest things we saw at last year's CES 2018? Join us as we take a look at what the past 12 months has meant for them.
Emerging Tech

You may soon be able to summon an autonomous wheelchair like an Uber

At CES 2019, autonomous wheelchair company Whill unveiled its vision for a world in which people can summon its wheelchairs by app, in locations such as museums, airports, and city centers.
Emerging Tech

Yamaha’s new app lets you tune your motorcycle with a smartphone

It used to be that if you wanted to tune your motorcycle’s engine and tweak its performance, you needed specialized tools and even more specialized knowledge. Yamaha’s new Power Tuner app changes that.
Emerging Tech

Furrion’s luxurious smart yacht looks like the perfect vessel for a Bond villain

Forget smart watches and the like: when it comes to the biggest smart technology at CES 2019, the literal answer can be nothing other than the 78-foot, high-tech luxury smart yacht, Adonis.
Emerging Tech

Look forward to your morning commute with one of the best ebikes available

A proper ebike is perfect for commuting or a trek along the trailhead, with most offering pedal assistance and a long-range battery. As more brands offer their own take on this innovative way to get around, it's hard to distinguish the…

Here are all the best rain jackets on the market right now

From high-tech, lightweight shells to modern-looking, waterproof trench coats, check out our list of the best rain jackets built to keep you dry and looking stylish in any season.
Emerging Tech

The best solar chargers for your phone, tablet, and other battery-powered gear

Looking for a gizmo that can help you charge your phone while on the go? Here, we've outlined the best solar chargers on the market, whether you're looking to charge your phone once, twice, or three times over.

Drink what nature provides with the best water purifiers

Looking for reliable water purification? Staying hydrated is important, especially when you are hiking or camping far from civilization. Check out our picks of the best water purifiers for your camp, backpack, or pocket.

Snooze soundly anywhere you lay your head with the best sleeping bags

A proper sleeping bag has the ability to make or break a camping or backpacking trip. Here are our picks for the best sleeping bags on the market to help you choose the correct bag for any type of outdoor adventure.

REI drops prices on North Face and Columbia during its winter sale

Looking to shop top brands like North Face, Columbia, and more? REI is offering up to 50 percent off during a winter sale so you can save big on new jackets and hoodies. This deal will last until January 22, so take advantage on this huge…