From student project to personalised sandals from a 3D printer

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From left to right: Linda Wang, Philipp Kronenberg (doctoral candidate, D-MTEC),
From left to right: Linda Wang, Philipp Kronenberg (doctoral candidate, D-MTEC), Roman Wyss and Kristýna Hrabánková from the start-up URBNC 3, pictured in the Student Project House at ETH Zurich. (Photograph: ETH Zurich / Nicole Davidson)
Start-up URBNC 3 produces sustainable and personalised sandals with the aid of digital technology. The start-up took its first steps at the Student Project House of ETH Zurich.

Just like fingerprints, no two feet are alike. For the founders of the start-up URBNC 3, such a unique challenge calls for a unique solution. Their answer is personalised sandals that not only look cool but are also suitable for people with problem feet or feet of different sizes. The customised footwear is produced on a 3D printer based on data from an app. Customers select a model online and receive an order code. Using this code, they activate their smartphone to take a 3D scan of each foot. On the basis of this virtual model, URBNC 3 then fabricates an individual footbed that is perfectly tailored to the customer’s foot. URBNC 3 is also committed to sustainability, using vegan and naturally degradable materials for its sandals. "We have close ties to the sustainable fashion scene in Switzerland and regularly seek input from experts to make our products even better," says co-founder Roman Wyss.

Student Project House

This creative thinkspace and makerspace provides ETH students with support in developing and implementing their own project ideas.

This text appeared in the 24/02 issue of the ETH magazine Globe.
Samuel Schlaefli