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This research project explores ways of configuring parametric software for generative design and additive manufacturing of high heeled shoes. The current cultural and social context suggests fashion is an outlet for individual identity and self-expression. This is particularly relevant for high heel shoes where customisation of fit is critical and adaptability to style and aesthetic considerations is universally applicable. In addition, the traditional methods of high heel shoe manufacture depend on convoluted supply chains, complex assembly and an extensive inventory to accommodate the required range of sizes and the demand of consumerism.

This raises the question, “Can this unwieldy traditional method manufacture, and distribution be streamlined with a combination of generative design and 3D printing for more bespoke and sustainable forms of manufacture?”

In response, the research aims to develop an integrated parametric design workflow for customised 3D printed high heel shoes. It seeks to integrate diverse considerations, such as scanning technologies and style parameters with concepts like design for deconstruction and distributed manufacture to transform the way footwear is designed, manufactured, distributed, and recycled.

The research portfolio will follow two overarching methodologies; Research for Design and Research through Design. It takes inspiration from recent experimental design studies for 3D printed high heels but seeks to combine these with more versatile and sustainable ways of configuring, customising and manufacturing shoes. The generative workflow created in this research is transferable to other products and systems of making.

Key words: Integrated parametric design workflow, high heels, computational design, animation tools, 3D scanning, 3D printing, inventory, customised fit, customised style, systems of making, design for disassembly.

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