In recent years, the number of 3D printed shoes has increased rapidly. The number has become so significant that, earlier this year, the 3D printer manufacturer Sintratec organized the 3D Printing Shoe Design Contest, a competition that, as the name suggests, aims to reward the best new printed shoes. in 3D. As a result, by combining the shoe industry with modern technology, the Earth Moc shoe was born. Designed by Daniel Shirley, it aims to offer flexibility and comfort, while providing constant support to the foot. Designed to be used for hiking, Earth Moc meets all the necessary requirements for use in combination with outdoor activity. Earth Moc designer Daniel Shirley explains: “The idea was to create a recovery shoe that you could wear after hiking or backpacking, that was light and comfortable, but that you could also do some light hiking in.”
Completely 3D printed, the shoe has a distinguished design. Its appearance is made up of shapes that are reminiscent of nature, specifically roots and vines. The shoe’s unusual geometry and design show what can be produced through additive manufacturing. To make Earth Moc, designer Daniel Shirley used only flexible TPE, a material that, according to the team behind the project, maximizes the shoe’s comfort and flexibility. Finally, regarding the 3D printer used, Daniel Shirley relied on the Sintratec S2 machine, a device designed to meet the special needs of various applications.
The advantages of 3D printing
Based on the SLS process, the Sintratec S2 allowed the designer to design a shoe with quite complex shapes. Reflecting on the benefits of technology, Daniel Shirley also said that the ability to quickly prototype helped him a lot and made the manufacturing process easier. Among other things, rapid prototyping allowed him to easily identify the characteristics of TPE.
After developing it for more than a year, the designer hopes that Earth Moc will help democratize the circular economy, particularly through its mono-material design and biomimicry. By becoming popular in the footwear industry, additive manufacturing once again demonstrates its ecological benefits. Those who wish to buy such a shoe will have to be patient. Currently, these types of projects are still in the conceptual stage. You can learn more in the following video.
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Cover photo credits: Daniel Shirley