Visitors to Shoe Obsession at The Museum at FIT might have noticed some mind-blowing biomorphic shoes that seemed to be made of bone. Like this “Biomimicry” shoe by Marieka Ratsma.
It was made with a 3D printer by Shapeways, a leading company in the business. 3D printing is the next big thing, according to Duann Scott, “designer evangelist” for Shapeways. Scott spoke at FIT to a packed audience on February 26 as part of the Love Your Library series.
He proposed that 3D printing will be an important manufacturing method of the future, because infinite complexity and customization don’t cost extra, there are no start-up costs, and the process results in very little waste.
Scott said that one company, with a 6-by-6-meter printing capacity, is making modular homes.
To create an object, just upload a design, choose a material (options include steel, silver, ceramic, and various plastics), and the item will be shipped in two to three weeks.
Hue doesn’t understand the technical process; it has something to do with layers and maybe lasers.
At posting time, this shoe was still undergoing testing for durability and comfort, but soon, it will be for sale in Shapeways’ marketplace. The marketplace also offers lots of jewelry, figurines, and toys, such as an insanely large $1,600 Rubik’s Cube.
The best news of all? FIT now has a 3D printer and may open it up for student use in the fall.
With all this 3D furor, Hue hopes people still appreciate 2D things; for example, magazines and magazine blogs.