This week’s selection is the shocking Cryptide Sneakers by designer Stephan Henrich.
I’ve seen several styles of 3D printed footwear, but they are nothing like the Cryptide design by Henrich. Most times 3D printed shoes are simple slip-on affairs with perhaps a lattice-style midsole.
The Cryptide design is quite different.
Let’s start with the name of this design, “Cryptide”. What is a cryptide? A “cryptid” is a theoretical animal believed to exist by cryptozoologists, but not by mainstream science. Examples might include the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot or the Ogopogo.
By using this name Henrich instills the spirit of what he’s looking for. The shoe design is certainly animalistic, and even ferocious.
Here you can see how the Cryptide shoe design evokes the individual toes — and nails of the wearer in a very direct way.
In this video Henrich explains the background of the shoe, and also demonstrates that it is entirely possible to wear this shoe in real life. It’s not just a prototype design.
Henrich worked with Sintratec on the project, who printed the shoe in one single piece on their SLS 3D printer, the S2 system. This is an SLS system that selectively sinters thermoplastic powder, layer-by-layer, and can be scaled up for larger production volumes. For this project they used a flexible TPE material that is ideal for a wearable object.
The flexibility of individual elements in the shoe were specifically designed by using thicker or thinner structures: the thicker the structure, the less flexible it is. In this way Henrich could design a midsole that provides just the right amount of support in the proper foot zones.
While this particular shoe design is not available publicly, in theory it could be customized to perfectly fit each foot of a buyer. This would require a measurement of the feet, and a means to tweak several dimensions of the Cryptide shoe 3D model. This has been many times done with other 3D models, so it should be possible here.
I suspect that there could be plenty of buyers for this shoe, so Henrich should consider manufacturing and selling it.
If so, I’m really interested to see what people say when they see the footprints.
Via Yanko Design (Hat tip to Tuan)