Disclaimer: For those thinking of 3D Printing their own sneakers, footwear is a complicated concept, so please be careful, use the right materials, and print sneakers at your own risk.
We have seen a lot from 3D Printing in recent years, and some of the industry impacts have been quite substantial. 3D Printing has been of monumental importance in Aerospace and medical fields as well as within the auto industry, but we are now seeing more and more companies and individuals investing their efforts in the world of 3D Printed fashion. This is also not limited to merely cute shirts, dresses and fabric based fashion, but shoes as well.
Why 3D Print Shoes
Well, why not. We all need shoes and have our own specific brand of sneakers that make us feel good about how we look. 3D Printed shoes are an interesting concept for sure, but companies today are looking for every avenue possible to make an impact in the fashion world. 3D Printing is often substantially cheaper than standard footwear manufacturing. Theoretically, if a high volume shoe company were to implement 3D Printers in their show manufacturing process, it could possibly substantially lower their need for large scale machines and even reduce their need for excess workers on assembly lines.
Where companies have yet to implement 3D Printers on the large scale, some are investing in new technologies such as digital foam used for inserts within sneakers. EOS North America and Additive Minds have introduced Digital Foam to the world as a means of reducing overall shoe manufacturing costs by utilising 3D Printed foam for shoe inserts. Their technology has already been implemented within helmets and bike seats, so it was not a stretch to see them reach into the sneaker industry.
3D Printed foam inserts for better arch support and comfort for high intensity use such as in sports.
Make Them Your Own
Where it is great to have 3D Printed foam inserts and additive manufacturing options for big name shoe companies, what can 3D Printed shoes actually do for the individual? As with all forms of 3D Printing, it places functional manufacturing in the hands of the individual. Those who actively avoid big name companies or those who simply would rather make their own clothing, need no longer succumb to the necessity of buying footwear from large scale companies. They can do it themselves and put their own spin on style.
3D Printing your own sneakers is not merely adaptable for individual fashion but may also help those that have custom shoe requirements. Medical based shoes are expensive and do not in any way flatter an outfit, but when 3D Printers get involved in the process, the world of possibilities is opened up. Imagine the ability to produce footwear to your foot’s exact needs with perfect arch support and custom fit to your exact size. The potential for better sports performance and ideal fashion finally come together in one 3D Printed footwear option designed for the individual rather than a host of people.
3D Printed shoe base for ideal comfort, flexibility, and performance.
The Future of 3D Printed Sneakers in 2019
Since the dawn of time, foot coverings have been important. Although, we no longer wear simple leather pieces strapped to our feet with tree bark, we can all appreciate the evolution of footwear. The sneaker industry in 2019 is a multi-billion dollar entity and growing with each passing year. Manufacturing costs are always increasing and therefore, costs are translated to customers. This means you are paying a lot more for footwear than ever before. However, the future of 3D Printed sneakers has the potential to change all of that.
It may take some years to see the full implications of 3D Printed sneakers, but there may soon come a time where online orders for shoes include a digital image of your feet to provide the ultimate in customisation and comfort to customers. Although it may sound like a far-fetched concept, 3D Printers make it all possible.
Completely 3D Printed Shoe ideal for general use and even water sports.
Small Scale Designers
In the future of 3D Printed sneakers, we may see a steep decline in customer loyalty as well. The large scale shoe companies that have traditionally dominated the market may have some stiff competition from small scale shoe designers. 3D Printers can do a lot of good for these seemingly invisible shoe companies by providing them an avenue to utilise recycled materials for their shoe manufacturing needs within their own 3D Printers. This concept would drastically decrease costs to manufacture their shoes. We may soon see a time where big name shoe designers must bow down to small scale shoe companies turning the industry upside down, in a positive way. There is no telling where 3D Printed shoes will take us in the near future, but rest assured, it will be a lot of fun.