Exploring Interchangeable Footwear Through Latest Production Technologies and Materials
Project Equinox explores latest production technologies, latest materials and the ability to interchange and customise footwear. Its basis is to innovate within the process and application of the manufacturing of footwear and enhance the footwear experience for the user. As an intended outcome, it pushed for the clear existence of the above project scopes within the final product. The ideological approach taken for the design, was, for it to illustrate fashion design values in conjunction with engineering capabilities.
The synthesis of the project, was; a 3D printed interchangeable sole mechanism using Carbon 3D’s CLIP (Continuous Liquid Interface Production) technology, which included a midsole and two plug in keys made using Flexible Polyurethane (FPU) and an insole made using Elastomeric Polyurethane (EPU), and a 3D knitted upper using Shima Sheiki’s WholeGarment technology made with polyester yarn.
The significance of the final product for the footwear industry include; being able to produce a shoe in a more timely manner using a technological approach and having minimal contact with human resources, being able to adapt each shoe to the individual wearer through preferable fit and aesthetic, producing less waste as the technology explored only uses the amounts of material required, producing lighter footwear through converting solid mass into 3D structures and eliminating the need for linkage as seamless and continuos knitting is explored, using a functional interchangeable mechanism to connect the upper of the shoe to the sole rather than glueing or stitching and eliminating the need of creating composite shoe patterns through having a one-piece 3D formed upper.