Design in footwear has changed and is changing at this very moment, especially in the sports product industry. Adapting brand new technology that provides better performance to the footwear is essential since the beginning.
3D printing is a new way of approaching its design methods, explorations and manufacturing utilising computational design for its innovation.
Computational design can co-create abstract forms from the data gathered from the athletes for logical direction yet conceptual with its form.
[Latin] document giving warning of something, or giving a warning to someone;
Taekwondo Footwear .
The user I targeted was all Taekwondo athletes. As a previous high school Taekwondo player, I have chosen the user for this project in developing athletic footwear. Taekwondo is one of the sports that doesn’t require footwear while requiring a lot of other protective gears. But when they are not competing in a competition, all athletes are wearing Taekwondo footwear all time; for running, training involving sparring and even out of court, relaxing. It covers most of their time but there is a lack of development in Taekwondo footwear.
Taekwondo athletes move in multiple directions from their kicks and foot-works for sparrings
Cushioning always been EVA foam for many years, adapting new technologies with customisation feature utilising computational design is what athletic footwear have to consider for the next steps.
More protection on foot as there are physical contacts occurring during the training and competitions.
Taekwondo athletes not only train at court, but they also train in the gym and run tracks outside as well which they have to bring multiple shoes.
The most frequent injury occurrence to Taekwondo players are ankle injury. more support on the ankle could reduce the injuries and also increase performance.
Concept development .
My inspiration is the sport itself, players and equipment that athletes use. I was looking into how athletes practice, the uniform they wear and other accessories they equip when training. As 3D printing and the use of computational design expand, I looked into geometries such as Voronoi and lattice structures to possibly implement into the concept.
I really wanted to focus on knitting the upper and sole with great support that could prevent injuries. In this stage, I collected different colours that could be used on footwear. I have chosen blue and red-ish orange since that is the most common colour that can be seen in the court. I made upper reasonably high from seeing many Taekwondo athletes wearing high socks while they wear current footwears and also from their protection gears.
Final Direction .
Computational design .
Created multi-direction lines to deliver multi-direction adhesion to the outsole especially in the forefoot as Taekwondo players use the forefoot to move. Created spiral loops near the ball of a foot to assist pivotal movement while kicking. Heal focused on cushioning as often Taekwondo players land on their heels and this could affect their knee and increase the occurrence of an injury.
Later I have selected midsole from the cad model then utilised a program called ‘nTopology Element’. It’s a program that creates different lattices to Voronoi structures. I have inputted an artificial foot pressure distribution map to control the thickness for a variety of cushioning system.
Created Voronoi structure as a surface to deliver torsional stiffness and lattice structure inside to deliver cushioning.
Out of court
The main problem was the aesthetic and functionality, athletes not only train at the court, they spend time in the gym for weights and also running indoor and outdoor. They tend to go outside more often during the breaks for fresh air as well. I wanted to consider those aspects while designing for better footwear for athletes.
I have depicted athletes tend to wear socks underneath the shoes and wanted to resemble those aspects through the design. I wanted to create high ankle footwear design like basketball shoes also simple yet contrastive design for the possible usage as sneakers outside of their training.
“To design advanced footwear for Taekwondo athletes to protect and enhance their performances during any training. In and out of the court.”
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Immersive Buro Studio
Dr Scott Mayson
Design development - Sketching, Mockups, Rapid prototyping
Prototyping - Fusion 360, nTopology Element, Zbrush, SLA 3D Printing.