The 3D Saga

Working with rapid prototyping processes, I could not just pass by the latest collection 'mutatio' by New York based studio Francis BitontiThe collection is a collaboration with 3D Systems  for Dutch footwear brand United Nude

Each pair of shoes within the collection is generated using parametric software. With the rise of rapid prototyping systems, 'mutatio' is a fusion of both traditional craft and new technologies. The heel of the shoe is made from nylon using a selective laser sinter (SLS) machine. The heel is then gold plated and paired with a textured black upper that zips to cover the entire foot. By varying a computer algorithm that is used to control the digital model, the platform mesh of each shoe can be adjusted to produce bespoke shapes and patterns. 

Interestingly, Bitonti visualises products as adaptable algorithms. 

One of Francis Bitonti's most notable designs is the 3D printed seamless dress designed with Michael Schmidt for burlesque dancer Dita Von Teese. The articulated joints are set with over 12,000 Swarovski crystals.

Francis Bitonti's 'mollecule shoes'  uses a mathematical model that generates each pair of shoes with gradients of colour on a 3D printer. 

Our era of 3D printing processes is undoubtedly fascinating and the possibilities of these technologies are endless. But behind the most advanced outcomes, there still lies traces of the artisan's hand craft. 


References: Francis Bitonti / Dezeen