It might not have the razzle dazzle of a sleek upper design, but understanding the design and development process of creating outsoles is important, it’s also one area of footwear design and development that has truly been effected by the evolution of 3D printing.
Pre-3D tech, you would generally receive a ‘wood mould’ of your outsole design a couple weeks (if you’re lucky) after handing your tech specs over to a sole factory (usually somewhere in Asia), but with the advancement of local 3D printing facilities, you can speed the process up an unbelievable amount, and save yourself a lot of money too. Thats not only great for clients, but also us designers, as we can have more freedom to be a little more experimental with designs.
Below you see a brilliant break down of the development of a Boxfresh outsole, which includes a rapid prototype, by designer, Ed Batchelor –
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