The Future of Footwear: 3D Printed Shoes that React to Your Movements (VIDEO)

If you’re familiar with SOLS Systems, you may have thought of them solely as a custom orthotics manufacturer.  If that’s the case, it’s time to expand your schema of what this 3D printing start-up is really about, as SOLS has just unveiled the prototype for a modular, 3D printed robo-boot.

It’s called the ADAPTIV and it’s intense, both in terms of its design and the teamwork involved to bring it together. The proposed device will be comprised of a nylon-esque (Elasto Plastic) shell 3D printed by Shapeways, nylon 3D printed insoles with air pockets and air bags, and a series of gyroscopes and pressure sensors. Though the technology hasn’t quite been nailed down, the plan is for ADAPTIV to invoke the gyroscopes and sensors to redirect air throughout the boot in response to a wearer’s motions and body weight.

This reactive process, dubbed Instant Adaptability, is meant to expand upon SOLS’ already proven technology.  While their orthopedics are customized to a wearer’s soles via iPad photo capture and 3D printing, ADAPTIV involves a shoe customized to a person’s entire foot and ankle, as well as their movements and outfits.  As the wearer walks, runs, or jumps, air (or a liquid gel) is redistributed to various parts of the shoe.  The aesthetics of the shoe, designed by Continuum Fashion, are meant to adapt, as well.  Lit up by RGB LED lights, ADAPTIV will, ideally, use tiny cameras to register a wearer’s outfit and shift the shoes’ colors accordingly.  If this technique is refined enough, I can imagine complete digital texture maps to wrap around the boot in the future. … (read more)