United Nude is a footwear company that has long been known for its cutting-edge designs and architecturally inspired aesthetic. Now they are again at the forefront with their new, commercially available, 3D-printed platform float shoe. Although 3D-printed footwear is hardly a new concept, there has yet to be a wide adoption of 3D-printing shoes beyond conceptual designs.
Announced in fall 2014, the design is reminiscent of the ‘Lo Res’ pump from several years ago, with similar lines to parts of the spring/summer 2015 collection. Designed in three separate sections that fit together for the final product, which includes an illusion float heel, the shoes can be printed in an endless parade of colors at several of the brand’s flagship stores, using the 3D Systems Cube 3D Printer. Unlike the custom insoles we wrote about last week, these are primarily for fashionable use as couture footwear, and like United Nude’s other footwear lines, they will definitely bring impact to any outfit.
Co-founder Rem D. Koolhaus says,
“In recent years we have made fully printed 3D printed finished shoes with Iris Van Herpen for her runway show, which were made with state of the art laser sintering 3D printing, but we never designed a fully functional 3D printed shoe that was made with an entry-level desktop printer. We felt extremely challenged by the idea of developing a shoe for the 3D Systems Cube 3D Printer. In fact, this new $999-printer is a very compact and easy to use machine, but to print something that’s actually bigger than its printable footprint needed a lot of thought and creativity.”
“We designed the shoe in three parts that just simply link into each other, forming the final product. The fact that the shoe is made out of three parts actually adds to the design. To make the shoe more comfortable we added a hand cut rubber outsole. Even though this shoe is wearable, I don’t think it’s to be compared with any more conventional shoes in regards to comfort, but that’s also not the point of this design. This design is about creating something beautiful & interesting and it’s about experimenting, moving forward and about learning.”
Check out the shoes online, and then head into stores to try on a pair.