By Davide Sher | 3D Printing Industry
London-based, forty-two year old architect Julian Hakes was relaxing after a long day in the office, drinking a mojito and thinking about things in the world that have shown no design evolution in the last decades. That is how the inspiration came to him to use his Ultimaker 2 to create the “Mojito Shoe”.
It didn’t take him very long to focus his thoughts on shoes and start thinking about the possible reasons behind the lack of innovation in shoe design. Are all shoes the result of a natural design progression, or are they limited by the materials and processes used?
As an experienced architect, with a contribution to many construction projects around the world, Julian had used 3D printing technologies to create prototypes for construction, so he knew exactly what could be achieved with 3D printers. He explains the creative process in the video below.
Further exploring his shoe design, Julian walked on sand and noticed that his footprint indicated much greater loads on the front and back of the foot. So, why make shoes flat? That is clearly wrong! Upon this realization, he went about the proceeding 3D modeling work to derive a design that would protect the front of the foot and adequately hold the heel.
The Ultimaker 2 was his printer of choice because of its size capabilities, quality, and speed. The final design of the shoe was 3D printed at a speed of 45 mm/s, at 220° C, and with layer height set at 120 microns. While the designer wasn’t initially aiming for such a rounded design, it actually ended up taking that shape because of the material used and the process itself.
The “Mojito Shoe” has hit the world of fashion with impetus, getting featured in wide circulation magazines such as Vogue and Elle. This drew the attention of a global distributor that offered to take on the mass distribution of the product around the world and, so, the London and Hong Kong-based offices of Mr. Hakes are soon going to have to work feverishly to meet up with the demand. And it all began on with a Mojito on a desktop.
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