When it comes to the world of fashion, more often than not it is the bizarre that actually turns heads these days. How many haute couture creations that you actually see up there on the runway are actually practical enough for everyday use? Having said that, fashion is meant to make a statement, or at least convey a certain idea on what clothes ought to look like. Well, Georgia Tech industrial design students have managed to fashion out a pair of high-tech shoes which went through the rigors of 3D printing for their peer, Miss Georgia, and the shoes were inspired by the school’s Ford mascot.
3D-printed shoes have, until now, mostly been the stuff of art exhibits and fashion shows presaging a world in which we all look like we’re wearing alien life forms. On Saturday, shoes molded by 3D printing got a far wider showing, parading along New Jersey’s Atlantic City boardwalk on the feet of Miss Georgia, Maggie Bridges. At the traditional “Show Us Your Shoes” procession — where Miss America hopefuls wear fancy footwear honoring their home state — Bridges sported a pair of custom-engineered wedges inspired by the Ramblin’ Wreck, the 1930 Ford Model A Sport coupe that serves as student body mascot at Georgia Tech, where Bridges is a senior. Georgia Tech industrial design students Maren Sonne, Jordan Thomas, and Julia Brooks fashioned the sparkly shoes, which feature a finely detailed laser-cut grille with 3D-printed headlights; a laser-cut black and gold pattern on the heels; and little 3D-printed wheels, complete with tread details, along the sides. The trio originally considered designing a shoe that said science with every step. “We were looking at DNA strands and beakers used in chemistry and stuff,” Sonne says in a video about the design process. In the end end, they opted for a distinctly recognizable Georgia Tech icon, the Ramblin’ Wreck.