Digital Artisan, Castem and JSR create Formless heels using Carbon M2 3D printer

Digital Artisan, a Japanese design lab, JSR Corporation, an international chemicals company, and Castem, a manufacturer of precision casting parts, have collaborated to create “Formless” high heel shoes.

Using the M2 3D printer from Carbon, the partners created 3D printed molds developed from generative design to form the precise casts of the wedged metal heels. Generative design technology also allows for each pair of Formless heels to be tailored to the appropriate shape based on the potential weight and direction of the force applied by its user.

Formless generative heels

Masaharu Ono, director of Digital Artisan lead the design and modeling of the Formless heels with 3D software. Ono, an industrial designer of 3D printed jewelry, has previously used his experience in additive manufacturing to create fashion garments made from TPU.

Ono sought help from Japanese shoe designer, Ayato Tsumagari, to develop the Formless heels. Together the creatives used generative design; an iterative design process which automatically generates organic and manufacture-ready outputs based on data inputs.

This process produced intricate webbed formed heels that support various weights and shoe sizes. These forms were 3D printed into molds using a JSR-owned M2 which operates on patented Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology. Using Castem’s Lost Wax Method, the Formless heels were then produced. Furthermore, JSR provided the casting alloys for the heels.

Ono plans to use the Formless heels as the concept model for mass customization.

The Formless high heel shoes. Photo via Digital Artisan.

3D printed shoes

Heels aren’t the only part of the shoe being additively manufactured. Recently, Danish footwear brand, ECCO developed 3D printed silicone midsoles through its Innovation Lab for its Quant-U shoe.

Also at the beginning of this year, footwear brand Ica & Kostika launched its fully 3D printed shoe collection, called Exobiology. The shoes are shaped in exoskeleton-like structures, somewhat similar to the Formless heels, which mimick sealife such as corals and seahorses.

Sea themed printed shoe design, by Ica & Kostika. Photo via Ica & Kostika.
Sea themed printed shoe design, by Ica & Kostika. Photo via Ica & Kostika.

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Featured image shows the Formless high heel shoes. Photo via Digital Artisan.