During this year’s Ted Conference, an innovative type of shoe was introduced. The world’s first 3D printed photosynthetic shoe is embedded with living matter.
A well-known Israeli designer, Neri Oxman, revealed Mushtari. Mushtari is derived from an Arabic word for giant and used as a reference to the planet Jupiter. This shoe is a part of a series by Oxman called Wanderers: An Astrobiological Exploration.
This is the first time that 3D printing technology has produced a photosynthetic wearable piece with hollow internal channels designed to house microorganisms.
Gaining its inspiration from the human gastrointestinal tract, Mushtari is designed to host synthetic microorganisms that can flourish bright colors in darkness and produce sugar or biofuels when exposed to the sun. This type of 3D printing could also be applied to a lot of shoe-making in the near future.
With the Strarasys’ triple-jetting 3D printing technology, Oxman was able to create a fluid network within Mushtari that varied in transparency from opaque to clear. This helps designers to achieve varying levels of translucency in the surface areas of the shoes.
Future designs on 3DShoes.com could be shown to incorporate similar ideas into shoes that are on the site. Oxman thinks that incorporating synthetic biology into 3D printed products will allow for transition to take place with the designs.