I thought it was a bit of a gimmick at first but, with more and more uses of them to be seen in design journals at least, it seems that 3D printers may prove to be a boon for those us who suffer foot problems.
i’ve written many times about the problems I have finding shoes that fit and are forgiving enough to be comfortable for my poor swollen feet. I really haven’t found anything that resembles a stylish solution despite spending £££ and searching far and wide, including going bespoke … and this over fifteen years of looking!
Of course, it doesn’t help, me being a wheelchair user and all, but having swollen feet is a hugely common problem and, I figure, the lack of available product points more to the difficulty of coping with the myriad of variety amongst individuals for mass market manufacturers than a willingness to sacrifice profit.
Well, hey, 3D printing could be the answer. As I understand it, your feet are scanned and the computer devizes the parts to fit you for a specified style, makes it up and, presto, the next day, using a 3D printer, you have shoes.
Sounds fab, no? I think so. We may be some way from mass market production right now but, with the pace of technology, you’d think, over the next few years, everyone will be screaming for this, dis-or-able-bodied (yes, I do remember the agony of ‘breaking in’ shoes on my perfect feet too).
I’ve been reading about it in Dezeen who’ve done a few commentary pieces on uses for 3D printers but there are lots of other information sources about too. Here’s a few more styles I found online – do let me know your thoughts on this as an idea/solution: