Process

For this section of the site I'll dedicate to explaining my typical processes for building a piece of footwear.

Open Toe High Heels
 
Inspiration
Tools: library, pinterest, google

One of my main sources of inspiration and reference for these set of heels was to do a pair based around Joris Laarman's 3D printed chair design.

The briefing was basically to build a prototype which would be wearable directly after finishing from the print bed. This art direction was an excellent candidate for being printed due its limited use of overhangs or angles greater than 45.° Which meant no support structures were needed and in turn would mean a quicker print and clean up / finishing time.

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Conception
Tools: pen + paper, ipad pro

With the original reference strongly dictating the following steps for this stage of conceptualization. Focus was given on having appealing negative space and strong overall silhouette.  The client was immediately pleased. Though I had a few reservations about the design at this point.

- Overall it was much too busy.

- Little too scifi. Needed to be more grounded in reality.

- The platform lacked quite a bit of opportunity considering it's importance in the anatomy of a heel.

Even after an approved concept I tend to always have the mantra of three until it's right.  Where three further interactions of the design are made until everyone is positive about the results at this stage. After all it's much cheaper to make mistakes now than it is later in the process.

Modeling
 
Modeling
Tools: 3ds Max, mouse + keyboard

As is often the case began by dropping in some cards with the reference images to help designate scale. Typically prefer to never quite build anything from scratch and always have something in 3D to work from whether it be scan data or a last. But for this project I only had the 2D reference of a single ortho.

 

Wish I had more shots explaining the modeling at this stage but i can safely say we went back to the drawing board at least once during this stage.

 

The most time in 3d is often burnt simply orbiting an asset around, often times you are better off locking the camera down into a single view and doing further paintover to refine the forms.  For the most part everything went smoothly and only required a few tweaks as the model was iterated to full scale.

Printing
Tools: Dremel 3d40, Print studio

Firstly the Makerhaus community located here in Seattle is truly what inspired this passion of creation - Having access to a limitless amount of people, machines, tools and space to feed from to cultivate this oportunityf for nonstop progression and evolution


During the time of this project I had access to the dremel FDM printer which meant I would need to account for extra clean up and finishing later in the process

Note the severe miss print lines designated by the blue arrow. Even with the bot printing at it's fastest possible speed those errors shouldn't be seen on prints like these.  But that was caused by cutting costs in the filament department.  Next time this could have been avoided by having a better method of feeding filament into the printer or simply by purchasing a higher quality name brand filament. Because as is often the case affordable filament is often not wound correctly from the factory.

Again going with the three until it's right mantra. Began by printing versions of the shoe a roughly 1/4 and built models to full size.

Finishing
Tools: Filling, sand and more sanding, primer

Overall everyone that needed to be happy was happy with this project.

 

For the next version I'd like to have some resin prints made for molds.  I would also eliminate the brace between the platform and the heel.  As that was required last minute to help support the heel.  In hindsight this should have probably just been sanded off after the fact. In turn this would require beefing up the rear support on the heel and currently it was so fine it was barely printable.  Actually required being held as the extruder finished it's final layers.  As is typical with printers, they still require quite a bit of babysitting. But in that good not wanting to sleep kinda exciting way.

ETA: start to finish - 2 days to complete