Additive Manufacturing for the production of footwear

EOS Additive Manufacturing provides footwear designers with unlimited freedom of design. It is suitable for rapid prototyping as well as allowing product variants to be manufactured cost- efficiently in serial production using high-quality materials.

Rendered heel images using 3D Software, made from titan (Design and source: Kerrie Luft)
Rendered heel images using 3D Software, made from titan (Design and source: Kerrie Luft)
Additive Manufacturing (AM) and shoes? British footwear designer Kerrie Luft has demonstrated that this unusual combination is in fact highly effective. She uses the innovative EOS AM technology, utilising it in a conceptual way. Her latest collection "Nouveau" features elements of art nouveau. Inspired by nature, the designer created innovative shapes for the upper of the shoe and the heel by rapid manufacturing titanium, applying the complex geometry of the shoe heels to the actual product. 

Kerrie Luft says she loves the design process and its application - translating the original concept to an entirely unique and special collection:
"Additive Manufacturing from EOS gives me the freedom to do just this!"


The filigree structure of the heels requires a high-strength material, and Kerrie Luft selected titanium. The unusual shoes of her MA collection caused a sensation and were showcased at the Mall Galleries in London.
 
   
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Laser-sintered soles, made from flexible polymer (Design and source: Ross Barber)
Ross Barber is another designer who combines innovative technology with the traditional craft of the shoemaker. Ross first came across tool-less laser sintering while taking a BA in Industrial Design. He then decided to use it to implement his shoe concept for an MA assignment. The latter consists of eight pairs of men's shoes that symbolise a spreading virus attack: it starts on the sole of the first pair and gradually spreads through to the shaft of the last pair.

One great advantage for designers like Ross Barber is the unlimited freedom of design offered by laser sintering. Complex geometries can be applied swiftly. Since the production technique is flexible and does not require tools, variants of an original design are simple to create too, so Ross Barber was able to apply the iteration stages of his series with minimal effort.

EOS Additive Manufacturing technology Footware best-practice example

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