Pushing the envelope right up to the limit and beyond what’s feasible – this was the stated aim of the master thesis Auxtex submitted by product designer Eric Esser at the Berlin University of the Arts. His research arena: additive manufacturing,i.e. processes where components are produced by depositing a material layer by layer – also known as 3D printing.

„Design means touch all senses.“

In his MA thesis Esser focuses on the generation of CAD files that result in material samples by means of a 3D printing method called Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM). In terms of refinement these soft and supple printed results can compete with fine woven textiles. Esser employs a similar technologyfor Pheres, an extremely lightweight and elastic plastic shoe. The decisive feature here is the printed texture that lends both shoe upper and sole elasticity and which fits the foot like a second skin. Pheres is a “hybrid” stylecomprising a sandal, slip-on and sneaker – designed for hot summer days, a trip to the sauna or as a lounge slipper.

3D printing makes it possible to customise product fits to their wearers’ needs. This material does without seams and glue and can be returned to the production cycle after use.