In a reinterpretation of classic shoe design, Berlin- and Munich-based design studio Wertel Oberfell’s Auxetic Wear introduces a 3D printed shoe that utilizes an auxetic structure to adapt itself to the ergonomics of its wearer’s foot. Combining traditional shoemaking with modern technology, the designers emulate techniques from classic shoe craftsmanship to design a boot with low-profile, two-dimensional shapes.
Made of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) with a Shore hardness of 98A, the semi-flexible filament offers high tear and tensile strength, and the auxetic structure expands bi-directionally as soon as a tensile force is applied. It expands or compresses to take on the form of the foot for each wearer to enhance comfort. A skeleton-like base gives the shoe its final organic form and serves as reinforcement to the auxetic structure.
Several options to reinforce the structure of Auxetic Wear were tested, varying from linking elements within, altering the dimension of the pattern, to simply adding a supporting lattice. The designerssettled on incorporating a skeleton-like base, which not only gives the shoe its final form, but also serves as reinforcement where the individual parts come together.