3-D Printed Shoes Generated Using Conway’s Game of Life


We’ve seen plenty of 3-D printed shoes in our time, and most of them look exactly how you might imagine: Like algorithmically designed shoes made from plastic. There’s a certain roughness to them, which does less to spread the good word of 3-D printing than it does make us wonder, are we actually supposed to wear this stuff?

Francis Bitonti is equal parts technologist and fashion designer—a rare blend of different skill sets that’s allowed him to make 3-D printed goods that look more Fashion Week than Maker Faire.

He’s the man responsible for Dita Von Teese’s slinky 3-D printed gown and NYC’s squiggly bike racks. He’s made 3-D printed stainless steel belts and some very pretty flatware. His most recent project, developed with Adobe, is in the form of some outrageous-looking shoes.

The 3-D printed kicks are made from pixel upon pixel of printed material. Their organic shapes are the result of using John Conway’s Game of Life as the starting point for the shoe’s algorithms. At the beginning stages of designing each shoe, Bitonti would define a set of rules, and from there the algorithm would take its course.

The resulting forms are strange and varied—you see one heel that looks like a fractured cave of pixels, while another appears to be strips of spiraling coral. Bitanti says it’s time to start thinking about products as systems rather than static forms. “We want to design through systems that have enough intelligence to organize into a wide array of shapes that express a wide range of aesthetics and functions,” he says. “It’s a more powerful way to think about customization.”

Each of the shoes is made from a gradient of hues that are the product of mixing three separate colors of filament.

As the primary colors dispense from the Stratsays machine, they blend to form new tones. It’s a neat visual effect, but it also speaks to the bigger promise of 3-D printing in the future. “It’s a new craftsmanship really,” he says, adding that we’re now able to adjust the construction of an object at the level of 16 microns. “What we’re finding is that through that high level of control, we’re actually able to create material properties that we’ve never had before.” Imagine then, instead of blending red, blue and yellow you could mix metal, ceramic and plastics.

The shoes were made for Adobe’s 3-D Print Show, but Bitonti says he and his team are currently in the process of developing a commercial version of the shoe that will include more structural support like an insole.

For the time being, though, the shoe is more a proof of concept, an art piece that could be worn if you’re not into the whole comfort thing. “They’re wearable,” he says. “But I wouldn’t climb a mountain in them.”

By Liz Stinson.
We found it on Wired.
3-D Printed Shoes Generated Using Conway’s Game of Life 3-D Printed Shoes Generated Using Conway’s Game of Life Reviewed by Daniel Weaver on Sunday, October 12, 2014 Rating: 5

Featured Posts

[Future][feat1]