Introduction: Spring Heel Shoes - 3D Print

About: Designer

These shoes are called ‘Energetic pass', they are designed with a spring heel which has a mechanism which acts as a shock absorber, and gives the wearer a new walking experience (you can see it in the video in the end). Actually, the only way to make this structure is by 3D printing.

In this instructable I will help you to understand the steps to design your 3D print shoes.

For this instructable you will need: Plasticine, scan of a anatomical last, access to a 3D printer, knowledge in 3D software and to let your imagination run wild...

Step 1: Find Your Inspiration

My shoe design came from studying hyper-actives people while focusing on different therapy treatments that direct the energy in the body like Kinesiologia, Centering and more. I was inspired by the structure of the muscles and the natural movement of the foot in different positions.

It was a very special project for me, it touched me personally as I grew up with ADHD.

I took this design to research and understand what is going inside the body and mind of a person with ADHD, not only how the effects that can be seen by other people, but how this phenomenon affects the nervous system in the brain and how it differs from normal functioning human being.

I recommend you take a personal subject that you are passionate about and want to delve into, any project you will make that comes from a personal place will have more significance for you.

Step 2: Sketches

Take a pencil and start to sketch out your idea...sketching multiple sketches from different angles will help you develop your ideas and think about potential problems and solutions

Once your satisfied with your sketches on paper you can start making 3D models, I like to use Plasticine for my 3d models.

Don't save up on the details!!

I made a lot of sketches! my Line of thought was that all the curves will become connected to each other.

It's important to sketches until you feel satisfied, because this is how you bring out your thoughts and ideas and share them with the world .

Always think about some thing you want to achieve with your design, and follow it.

Step 3: 3D Scan of an Anatomical Last

The shoes were designed upon a 3D scan of an anatomical last using the SolidWorks 3D software.

On the computer I started modeling the shoe on the last one line at a time much like a sculptor does. Basically I used the traditional technique of building shoes and combined them with the technological advantages of computer design.

Step 4: Spring Heel

The design process included a deep research of the material properties and enabling flexibility by designing a unique structure. I was looking around in a spring shop (yes this is something that exists) and researched about a lot of different springs until I found the one that I could change accordingly to my vision.

It was a long way until I finally designed the final spring , I attached pics from my experiments ... don't give up !

Try to make a spring and to combine it to heel to get spring heel that could to hold your body.

You can look in the black photos the difference of the spring when it's being stepped on and when it's in a neutral position.

Step 5: Combine the Heel to Shoes

*All the underlined words are commands in Solidworks.

1 Thickento 4 mm ( the thickness needs to be strong enough ) ->

2Import pictures of your sketches from all angles ( right , left, back , top, bottom, front )->

3 Make a 3D sketch on the surface thicken according to your picture sketches. make a circle profile that touches the center of the curve with PiercePoint. ->

4 Sweep make a sweep from 3D curves and circle profile. ->

5 Make the spring with a boss extrude , sweep and cir pattern ->

6 Combine between the spring part and upper part with 3D sketch and loft (I recommend to color each loft separately so you can tell the difference between them) ->

7 Build the front spring ( with the same technique we made first spring) ->

8 Combine between the front spring part and upper part with 3Dsketch and loft (I recommend to color each loft separately so you can tell the difference between them)->

-> Cut extrude the insole according to what you want->fillet every place you want !!!! get it to look good!

-> combine everything.

Step 6: Bearing Soles

The whole mechanism revolves so the movement needs to be separated from the floor. This is the reason I design the soles as a bearing.

1Sketch 2 circle and do boss-extrude ->

2Sketch the profile of the revolve , make a fillet to make it smooth .

Thats it ! do the same to other spring .

Step 7: Export the File to STL

When you finish your design, you should prepare your file to be ready for printing .
-The thickness is adjusted for your printer

-The shape without support (if you use a FDM printer)

-The shape is like you wanted

-The shoes are on the work plane (if you use tinkercad / onshape / 123D ....)

- Everything is combined and solid, no hole or surface . Then export the file to STL (file -> save as -> save as type: STL ) The triangle that you see is called a mesh, and this how the computer translates the shape to the software of the printer.

Chose your printer, in this case I chose a SLS printer and material of choice was: Nylon 12

Step 8: Video and Results

Now for the fun part!!

If you print it in Nylon you can color it with fabric dyes.

Walk around with your new shoes.

Don't forget to show me your results :