This week, shoes manufacturer Nike has come up with its brand new running shoes Nike Vapor HyperAgility Cleat. These shoes are not just running shoes, as they actually enable athletes to run faster on turf and change direction more quickly. Nike has been using 3D printing techniques in order to speed up the process of creating the shoes.
It’s not the first time Nike has been using 3D printing techniques, as the brand has already used the technique for the 3D plate construction of its 2013 shoes Nike Vapor Laser Talon Cleat, the prototypes of its 2013 LeBron X Shoes and the 3D printed Nike Vapor Carbon 2014 Elite Cleat, which was unveiled last month. The brand has used Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) technology to produce its 3D printed cleat plate. Using SLS, the company is able to work with high-powered lasers in order to to make adjustments to its shoes in a couple of hours, while in the past making updates would cost the company months.
As 3D printed clothes have even entered the prestigious New York Fashion Week, the inevitable rises up when the technique will take over the full industry. The possible impacts could be enormous, meaning we will be less dependent on manual labour in countries such as Bangladesh for our clothes. In order to achieve something like that, an easy way to weave more cotton fibers into the process of 3D printing is still required. Crowdsourcing organization InnoCentive has therefore set up a challenge for people to come up with the best idea.
3D printing is hot at fashion shows. The presence at the New York Fashion Week wasn’t just one of a kind in this manner, since Project Runway contender Justin LeBlanc has already used the technique during last year’s Project Runway. In addition, chic fashion brand Victoria’s Secret has used the technique to create 3D printed wings for a runway and even Dita Von Teese has been wearing a 3D printed gown. And what to think of all promotion stunts from big brands: Adidas 3D printed lace locks in a giant shoe box in London, and when even Kipling is experimenting with 3D printing the only right conclusion seems to be that the technique is entering the mainstream.
3D printing has definitely become a cool technique for big brands to use, as Nike and Adidas are both embracing the technique to innovate their working processes. The latest achievement comes from Adidas, as this brand has recently set up a massive shoebox in London in which 3D printed lace locks for shoes were built.
They did it to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Adidas’s bestselling trainer shoe ‘San Smith’. The giant shoebox was a pop-up store at the Old Truman Brewery in East London (where else?) and it represented a scale replica of the original Stan Smith shoebox. One of the ‘things to do’ in this shoebox was a 3D printing event, in which two 3D Systems Cube printers were printing out personalized lace locks for customers in order to finish their shoes in a creative way.
3D printing enables us to come up with great solutions to our daily life problems, to provide for low-cost energy in the Third World or even to produce funny looking ice pops. Yesterday we showed you the work of Deskriptiv, a company that makes a living out of creating difficult 3D printed objects. Now, two young women called TheLaserGirls are doing something similar, but instead of using vague objects, they create extraordinary fingernails.
The fingernails are probably not the best idea for your regular working day, but they are surely something for the section of serious fashion and art. Two New York artists, Sarah C. Awad and Dhemerae Ford came up with the idea and they were last week’s ‘Shapeways 3D Designer’ in Residence at the Museum of Art and Design. The duo used a Form 1 3D printer and plastics and metals to create their original fingernails. This is a short video shot from the stairwell of the Museum of Arts and Design, in which the duo explains what it does:
Many will remember Belgian brand Kipling from the exceptionally unfashioned school bags, which – unfortunately – turned out to be so strong that they would survive your whole school-time. Kipling was a story on how a wrong choice in the first class of secondary school would destroy your looks for a very long time. Fortunately, Eastpak followed and saved the day. However, today Kipling strikes back with 3D printed bags.
For many years designers were limited in creating products due to the way products were manufactured. Complex, twisted or dynamic shapes were difficult to achieve. However, new additive manufacturing techniques have opened the doors to a new world where almost every design is possible: the world of 3D printing. It has caused a change in how we think about modern design and manufacturing, which also applies to me.
For one of my electives, called ‘Cybercraft’, I explored the possibilities of digital manufacturing in relation to craft. This required a high level of design considerations, detailing and finishing. Moreover, dedication and time played an important role to efficiently generate a broad variety of ideas and to elaborate my design to a high-end level.
Have you ever heard about self-repairing running shoes? We didn’t, until today. Shamees Aden, who is a London designer and researcher has created a prototype for running shoes that can actually repair themselves overnight. The shoes are made of ‘cells’ that regenerate so they won’t wear out.
Fashion and 3D printing definitely go hand in hand when even a contender from Project Runway is using the technique. Right now Victoria’s Secret, a brand that creates chic women’s clothing, has been using the technique in order to create 3D printed wings for one of their models during a launch event of theirs.
Image: Lindsay Ellgton, by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images.
The so-called angel wings are designed by architect Bradley Rothenberg, and Victoria’s Angels has been working together on this project with jewelry designer company Swarovski and 3D printing website Shapeways. The model you see in the pictures is Lindsay Ellington and the wings are scanned by Shapeways and are designed to perfectly fit her form. After the printing process the wings were decorated with “millions” of Swarovski crystals.
Recently we told you a story about 3D printing and fashion going hand in hand, but here’s a new one: Project Runway contender Justin LeBlanc has been using a 3D printer to earn a spot at the show’s finale.
He has used a 3D printer to create a series of garments, accentuated by belts and neckpieces in the shape of concentric circles. The man showed the 3D printer to Project Runway host Tim Gunn, when the host visits him at his house. He showed Gunn that he’s using the 3D printer to help illustrate his theme of sound waves and – of course – he impressed the host of the show with this innovative technique.
If you are a little bit into fashion, you will probably know about the recent hype of vintage clothes. The idea behind buying second-hand vintage clothes is to get a unique look, because the clothes you buy are not in contemporary stores anymore. However, 3D printing has the ability to make it a lot easier to stand out from the crowd.
The Nike Vapor Laser Talonwith a 3D printed plate.
A lot of interesting things are happening in the field where 3D printing and fashion meet. You might already have guessed it, but it’s true: you can print clothes. Today companies are experimenting with printing clothes. For instance the company Hot Pop Factory prints jewelry and retailers such as New Balance and Nike (above) are experimenting with printing shoes. Do you need new sunglasses? Designers such as Ron Arab can easily print them for you.