Skip to main content

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.

Garrett Hulfish
Garrett is the kind of guy who tells you about all the tech you haven't heard of yet. He also knows too much about other…
Ceramic ink could let doctors 3D print bones directly into a patient’s body
ceramic ink 3d printed bones bioprinting australia 2

Scientists use a novel ink to 3D print ‘bone’ with living cells

The term 3D bioprinting refers to the use of 3D printing technology to fabricate biomedical parts that, eventually, could be used to create replacement organs or other body parts as required. While we’re not at that point just yet, a number of big advances have been made toward this dream over the past couple of decades.

Read more
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury trailer reveals wild new game mode
Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury

Nintendo released a new trailer for Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury, which finally reveals information on the re-release's new mode. Bowser's Fury is an entirely new adventure that features a gigantic Bowser.

Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury is a Nintendo Switch version of the 2013 Wii U game Super Mario 3D World. Nintendo previously revealed that the new edition would feature something called Bowser's Fury, but this is the first time the mode has been shown in any form.

Read more
Qualcomm’s long-awaited second-gen 3D Sonic fingerprint sensor is 50% faster
qualcomm 3d sonic sensor second generation ces 2021 2nd gen

Qualcomm wants to make its in-display fingerprint sensor a little bit more seamless. Its first-generation Sonic Sensor was introduced a few years ago, and at the time offered a decent experience -- but since then, has been overtaken in terms of speed and performance by competing optical sensors. Now, Qualcomm has finally launched a new, second-generation 3D Sonic sensor with big improvements.

The new sensor is 77% larger than Qualcomm's original 3D Sonic Sensor, measuring in at 8mm square, compared to the original's 4mm by 9mm. In other words, you'll be able to place your finger on a larger portion of the screen, making the overall experience a little more seamless.

Read more