CAD Up Some Shoes, But Don’t Start From Scratch

Row of white 3D printed shoes in different styles

Nothing helps a project get off the ground better than a good set of resources, and that’s what led [DaveMakesStuff] to release his Digital Shoe Design Kit, which is a set of 3D models ready to customize into a basic running shoe.

This is exactly what is needed for people who are interested in designing a custom shoe, but perhaps not interested in modeling every element entirely from scratch. [DaveMakesStuff]’s resources allows one to mix outsoles, midsoles, uppers, and other basic shoe elements into a finished model, ready to be resized or even 3D printed if desired. The files are all in stl format, but resizing stl files is trivial, and more advanced editing is possible with mesh sculpting programs like Blender.

If the gears in your head are starting to turn and you are wondering whether it is feasible to 3D scan your feet for some experiments in DIY custom footwear, take a few minutes and read up on 3D scanning and what to expect from the process to hit the ground running.

14 thoughts on “CAD Up Some Shoes, But Don’t Start From Scratch

    1. Likely not. Similar to concept cars that are just a concept, those designs are just the production of a non-trypophobic 3D graphist who bought a Rhino or Fusion360 license, and is repeating Voronoi patterns on all his designs, ad nauseam.

      You can try to print these with TPU filament. Well, good luck for that.

      1. Hi! DaveMakesStuff here. These models are designed with nTopolgoy. There are a number of different design techniques demonstrated here. Conformal lattice structures, field driven design to name a few. There are of course a few iterations demonstrating different TMPS structures “plugged in” to the same nTop notebook, but that is kind of the purpose of a concept design kit! I really encourage you to check out the nTop website, it is quite a different program and approach to design compared to Rhino or Fusion.

    1. I have a genuine need for custom work shoes, since I have very very wide feet & a non-standard toe box fit.

      I’ve been thinking about 3D scanning my feet or casts of them to make some custom fitted workshoes with integrated steel toe area (I 3D mill that out of steel & set it in) because no manufacturer makes a comfortable fitting shoe for me anymore.

      I am incredibly tired of people telling me to just deal with it and I am a prototype machinist for my day job so I see no reason that I shouldn’t be able to leverage multiple technologies here to actually make something that fits properly. I know enough about shoe design though to know that actually making a functional wearable shoe is not an easy thing.

      If someone wants a million dollar start-up find a way to help people like me and I guarantee you you will find the business

  1. PLEASE clone my mens 10 medium School Issue Nubuck shoes. They fit and felt so perfectly I bought 7 pairs 8 years ago but stopped making them in the nubuck. The leather version kills my feet. And nubuck is so largely phased out by most brands. I know it’s silly to be whining about it here but I learned long ago that happy feet are everything. I’m on my last pair now. New Balance had nothing comparable.

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