BIOMIMICRY: The Future of 3D Printed Shoes

A little more of a conceptual post, i’ve done quite a few posts in the past all about 3D printing and the exciting possibilities it gives us as designers and developers. This 3D printed soft seat is a perfect example of the type of things we can now do that were previously impossible to create.

Inspired by plant cells, designer Lilian van Daal’s approach to flexibility within the structure of the chair is sheer brilliance. Essentially printing her own shock absorbing structure, the chair becomes more structurally sound in the areas where more strength is required within it.


Imagine the possibilities for footwear. A 3D printed sole (or perhaps even upper, think a woven 3D printed ‘FlyKnit’), that biomimic’s the users foot and compensates in structure for their different pressure areas and foot shape, calculating how they walk (do they over pronate or supinate? etc…), ailments, the activities or sports they’ll predominantly be doing within the shoes…not to mention the shoe will look absolutely stunning.

In nature many structures are to be found that are not able to produce with normal production techniques. 3D printing however does make it possible to reproduce these complex structures. In this way a product can be created from one material in one factory, although it has the properties of various materials. Pollution caused by transport can be minimized and the product is completely recycable. The first working prototype has been made possible by 3D Systems Benelux. – Lilian van Daal

Check out some of Lilian’s beautifully designed and printed soft chair below –






Mr. Bailey

Product Designer + Footwear Architect | Founder of @ConceptKicks |

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  • Alex - 6 years ago