3D-printed Cryptide sneakers are designed to leave a mythical mark
German designer Stephan Henrich has a wild, high-detail and futuristic approach to form, and his take on the well-worn trope of 3D-printed sneakers is a great example. Little more than a form-fitting sock up top, the elevated sole features dynamically deforming phalanges designed to leave bystanders mystified when they see your tracks.
Printed in a single run per shoe, the Cryptide sneakers are predominantly designed to show off Sintratec's S2 3D printing system, as well as the company's rubber-like TPE elastomer material. Thinner structures are very flexible, while thicker ones can absorb considerably more energy before bending, hence the top of the shoe is super-thin and perforated for breathability, while the sole is more structural, designed specifically to cope with expected forces generated by walking and running.
Henrich separates out all five toes on the plated sole design, each able to roll forward to create the impression of a sharp claw. Your footprints in dirt or sand will therefore make people wonder whether Bigfoot's been in the neighborhood, and that's indeed what gave the Cryptides their name: a cryptid is a mythical beast.
The shoes appear to be designed to run a pair of ratcheting tie-downs to close them securely, although these have not been fitted as yet. Henrich says it should be reasonably simple to 3D-scan people's feet and create a set of Cryptides in the perfect dimensions, but realistically these shoes will likely remain a Sintratec showpiece, and thus pretty much as good as mythical beasts from the perspective of actual shoe buyers. That's OK; from the video, they don't seem ready to work particularly well, deforming in some odd directions when stood on.
Still, they're very eye-catching; Henrich's style is technical and daring, and we can't resist showing you this outrageous design he put forward back in 2009 for an "Infinity" cruiser AWD bicycle, running a single, modular tire that's held in place by hydraulic spreaders to form virtual front and rear wheels.
Completely impractical? Sure. But we sure do love ourselves a good sideways idea, and this is about as sideways as it gets. More recently, Henrich has been working on a "3D Cocooner" designed to print three-dimensional lattice shapes out of UV-cured e-glass without any supports, and a spider-like robotic gardener specializing in fungi. Somebody get this guy a job on a sci-fi-movie.
Check out a short video below.