Fashion designer Chris van den Elzen creates 3d printed shoes using Ultimaker

3D printing is the new black

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The world of high-end fashion is one that’s in perpetual change. It has a constant desire for original ideas and Chris van den Elzen is a talented young fashion designer who is pushing the boundaries of the shoemaking art with 3D printed designs. The fashion world is loving every minute of it.

As a shoemaker and designer, Chris is passionate about his footwear from both an aesthetic and functional perspective – they must be both beautiful and comfortable to wear. To assist him in refining his concepts into functional prototypes, he turned to his Ultimaker 2 3D printer. As a powerful rapid prototyping tool he was able to bring his visions to life without any fuss.

3D printed shoes
Chris creating his new 3D printed shoe

Of course, being the open-minded fashion designer Chris is, he went one step further. He’s actually using 3D printed parts from his Ultimaker 2 in the final product – combining craftsmanship, beauty and high-tech 3D printer techniques. As a perfectionist, Chris wanted to use a 3D printing material that suited his needs perfectly. Because the Ultimaker 2 isn't limited to the use of standard materials, users have complete freedom to 3D print with new and experimental materials. To help him find the right one, he turned to the fab guys and gals over at colorfabb. They worked closely with him to help choose his final material called woodfill-fine. Made from about 70% PLA and 30% recycled wood fibres, it gave Chris the natural texture he was looking for – not to mention printing very easily on his Ultimaker 2.

3D printed shoes
3D printed shoes
3D printed shoes

Head over to his website and see the eye-catching designs for yourself. You can really get a sense of the freedom he enjoyed, as each design feels so original. As you can tell, we're a bit of a fan!

3D printed shoes. Soon everyone will be wearing them! Learn more about 3D printing in fashion below.

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