Lightweight Structures Support Scherf Design to Reach New Heights

Scherf Design; an innovative design company, created a 3D printed, metal high heel shoe model that was both highly distinctive and wearable with the help of Materialise 3-maticSTL software and its Lightweight Structures module.

A Design and Manufacturing Challenge

Based in Cologne, Germany, Scherf Design pride themselves on modern and progressive design and often use their in-house rapid prototyping machine to show shoe buyers and manufacturers a close-to-end result of their latest ideas and innovations. Always in search of going one-step further in design innovation, Scherf design worked in collaboration with Materialise to reach this ambition. The goal was to produce a fashionable, metal high heel that would withstand all the pressures whilst still being light in weight.

Beyond Today’s Design Limitations

Scherf Design and Materialise combined their expertise over a five month project to work on the co-creation and manufacturing of a shoe design, originally based on pencil sketches and integrating them into one final design model. The outer shell heel design was developed by Scherf Design with the internal heel honeycomb structure and external curved heel connecting lines on the heel surface being designed with Materialise 3-maticSTL software. The final shoe model produced used a traditional shoe upper, with the integrated metal 3D printed heel, which was successfully printed by Layerwise, a metal Additive Manufacturing company based in Belgium.

The key to the success of the overall heel design was the use of the 3-maticSTL software and its Lightweight Structures module, which provided designers a software package with the functionality to design a single honeycomb element structure and to multiply it within a specified area, in this case the volume of the heel while taking the design requirements for metal printing into account. This would be extremely difficult to accomplish with any other software on the market today, as Mariam Mir, Materialise Software Project Manager explains:

“The use of 3-maticSTL software and its Lightweight Structures module clearly highlights the possibilities to inspire designers across a range of industries from leisure and shoe industries to aerospace and automotive, allowing engineers to go beyond today’s design and manufacturing limitations.”

3D Printed and Wearable

The final models were on show at EuroMold 2013 and will also be used for test marketing these highly distinctive and wearable shoes with future potential customers and high-end luxury shoe manufacturers.