Heron Preston and Zellerfeld Release Improved 3D Printed HERON01 Sneaker
Fashion designer Heron Preston and 3D-printing shoe startup Zellerfeld have released a new version of their co-designed and 3D-printed HERON01 sneaker, named Version 0.81.
The sneaker’s latest design and structure have reportedly been revamped, with an improved collar shape, roomier toe box, and lighter feel thanks to less material usage.
Zellerfeld will use the new version of the custom sneaker to update its footwear beta program to increase beta user access to its products.
The HERON01 printed in 3D
Preston and Zellerfeld began their partnership in October 2021 with the goal of 3D printing a unique sneaker line with the potential to “reshape footwear for the better”.
The two companies unveiled the HERON01 slip-on running shoe which features a circular design with no seams or adhesives, meaning it can be fully recycled at the end of its life. A small number of pairs were sold via a StockX raffle, with Preston saying the small release was “just the start”.
The HERON01 is modeled to resemble its namesake in the natural world, with its ladder-like aesthetic designed to mimic that of a heron’s feet while its sole features a claw-like design.
Zellerfeld uses 3D printing to develop experimental shoes with new unibody designs and markets its technology as a greener alternative to conventional shoe production processes.
Leveraging its technology, the company previously created a “Sneaker Zero” design concept that placed third in the Formnext purmundus 2020 challenge, after working with fashion brand Querencia Studio to 3D print its first shoes. commercial.
After evaluating feedback from the initial beta tester, Preston and Zellerfeld made a number of improvements to the sneaker’s fit, form and function. As a result, the 0.81 version has an improved collar shape and roomier toe box that allows for an easier fit, while the upper is softer to prevent chafing on contact with the skin.
The sneaker has also been optimized using Zellerfeld’s additive manufacturing technology to require less material usage and provide a lighter feel. The shoe has also been designed with a higher heel drop and better arch support, while the midsole now offers more support.
As with the original HERON01, customers have the option of choosing their standard shoe size or using a 3D scanner to fully customize the fit of the shoe.
One of the benefits of leveraging 3D printing for the design and creation of the HERON01 is that iterations could be done in a much shorter timeframe than traditional shoe design processes would have allowed. This, in turn, allowed Preston and Zellerfeld to make a series of modifications to the sneaker without the usual high manufacturing costs associated with trial-and-error design techniques.
Zellerfeld will update its footwear beta program with version 0.81 and plans to add beta testers to its process regularly to receive more feedback on its designs. The company is reportedly looking to expand its 3D printing capabilities to other forms of athletic apparel in addition to its custom footwear.
Optimizing footwear with AM
The inherent weight of 3D printing, design optimization and the benefits of customization have seen the technology increasingly deployed in the world of performance footwear in recent years. One of the best-known examples is sportswear giant adidas, which has continuously released new versions of its 3D-printed Futurecraft ‘STRUNG’ sneaker with partner Carbon, and last year launched the latest iteration of its 4DFWD midsole to the public.
Elsewhere, cycling shoe producer Lore started taking pre-orders for its carbon-printed shoes LoreOne in July last year, while digital manufacturing company Voxel8 began mass-printing 3D insoles for the Hush Puppies range of designer shoes.
More recently, the benefits of cellulose have caught the attention of a number of 3D printed shoe start-ups for its potential as a natural, durable and versatile substitute for a range of synthetic materials.
Last month, biomaterials startup Modern Synthesis raised $4.1 million to develop its microbial weaving textile platform that allowed it to “grow” a cellulose-based shoe using bacteria, while fashion designer Maria Intscher-Owrang’s new startup Simplifyber has secured $3.5 million to bring its 3D-printed cellulose-based biodegradable clothing and shoes to market.
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Featured image shows the Heron01 features a ladder-like design, similar to that of a Heron’s foot. Image via Zellerfeld.