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'Rusalka' Boots

May 2023

Designed and Made by Katie Downey 


A specialist make project inspired by the earlier conceptual design brief of Rusalka, these futuristic boots were an exploration into self-taught 3D modelling and printing

This was my first experience with a 3D printer, from assembling the machine and troubleshooting its early set-up; and teaching myself how to fix the ongoing maintenance issues such as hot-end clogging and correcting the bed that un-levels during the print. I have experimented with multiple forms of new and exciting materials like TPU, a rubber based printable substance with the potential of creating fabric.

I have taught myself industry modelling software like Blender and ZBrush Mini, through YouTube videos and consulting my peers. I have also experimented with many forms of generating structures for optimum strength and aesthetic finish of the print.


While this pair are not as structurally sound as I'd hoped, I will take the future knowledge into the next build, exploring more niche shoe-making methods such as drilling support steel struts in the vein of stiletto heels. 

Heel Prototype 3 
(Half Scale  - Print Time: 7 Hours)

Heel Prototype 4
(Full Scale - Print Time: 63 Hours)

Testing Printed Stretch Fabric Swatch

'Rusalka' Heel and Printed Fabric Development

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