PROBLEM The vision for TREE+D is to rethink comfort when it comes to shoes. It is far too often that we sacrifice our feet for the sake of handsome shoes. Other times, we purchase shoes online and for one reason or another they are not true to size. Considering this painful mismatch and the perilous effects this may have on our feet, this project was motivated by the question: why shoe we continue bearing with the pain?
SOLUTION This is where TREE+D comes in. TREE+D is the world’s first custom-fit shoe trees. Shoe trees are designed to prevent shoes from creasing and cracking, but in some cases they also allow you to break into your shoes more easily by stretching them to your shoe size. And it is precisely because of this function that shoe trees are important and why TREE+D is 3D printing them. TREE+D allows for the personalisation that normal shoe trees can’t offer, because TREE+D scans your foot and builds its shoe trees based on your exact measurement. More than just your shoe size, this 3D scan can account for wide or thin feet, high or low arches, amongst other features that typical shoe sizes cannot account for. Upon inserting this custom shoe tree in your shoe, it will not only maintain the shape of the shoe, but it will also allow you to break your shoe in, without the pain of blisters or bunions.
PROCESS The way the 3D printing works is that a mold is created of that person’s foot using hot wax. That wax is then filled with plaster, which is then scanned using a 3D scanner. That 3D scan is then uploaded to 3D editing software SolidWorks and edited to become the custom-fit shoe tree.
FUTURE TREE+D’s vision is to rethink shoes and comfort. This allows much room for diversification into creating shoes and maybe orthotic accessories. For the time being, TREE+D will continue experimenting with perfecting its shoe trees, creating a culture and demand for shoe trees, and finding ways to improve its shoe trees (by adopting new processes, such as machining, which will allow for custom-fit wooden shoe trees).