Impact Footwear is introducing new features with next-gen 3D printed flips flops they are calling the Impact F1. As a small yet versatile product, flip-flops have emerged as a potential candidate for the use of 3D printing as a means for mass customized production. For 3D printing to make sense, flip flops needed to expand on the complexity of geometry, and extreme customization. With a 3D Configurator, users can select the options they want, starting with a blank slate and proceeding through 9 different steps. The 3D printed lattices mean users can select different compression levels for the heel, arch, and toe zones. Lattice technology brings a completely different feel to footwear compared to injection molded rubber and foam. With the ability to fully change the geometry of the midsole, Impact Footwear can determine the amount of responsive cushioning provided.
Impact Footwear can create a printable shoe file in under 10 minutes while accounting for hundreds of thousands of different configurations. The Impact F1 is produced using selective laser sintering technology, although it is not clarified whether the material used is the common nylon 12 or a more flexible TPU. The material is stronger, smoother, watertight, and easier to clean. The company claims to be able to reuse some of the thermoplastic material from worn out flips flops to produce other parts. The Impact F1 will be available soon, but you can currently check out the online configuration.