This project introduces accessory design students to various shoe styles and 3D printing basics using two Adobe applications. The project consists of shoe bases that includes the shoe style name, up to three key points about that shoe style and a 3D printed silhouette that can be slid into place.
This is a great project for footwear terminology recall. It also allows the instructor to introduce design students to 3D printing basics using two Adobe applications (Photoshop and Illustrator) that are commonly used in college-level fashion and accessory design programs.
Overview and Background
• Identify various shoes styles
• Print 3D shoe styles
• Discuss various shoe styles
• Match basic information with corresponding shoe styles
• Discuss and present basic information related to a specific shoe style
• Manipulate and/or digitally trace sketches via Adobe Illustrator
• Improve pen tool proficiency in Adobe Illustrator
• Convert a 2D drawing into a 3D model via Adobe Photoshop
• Learn the basics of printing with a MakerBot Replicator+ Desktop 3D printer
1-2 students per group
2 shoe styles per group
3.5 hours per base
1 hour per shoe style silhouette
Lesson Plan and Activity
- Select groups
- Allocate at least two shoes style per group
- Using the foot templates, each group member should create a basic silhouette drawing of the assigned shoe styles using a drawing/art pen or fine marker (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Peep Toe shoe style drawn using Foot Template (with raised heel) underneath
- Scan the drawings and save them as .jpegs
- Have students upload their drawings to applicable learning management system such as Blackboard, Canvas, WebCT, Moodle etc. for ease of transfer and review between students and the instructor. Alternatively these can be emailed to the instructor.
- Open or place drawing using Adobe Illustrator and name the layer “Template”.
NOTE: If the instructor wishes to eliminate the scanner from the process, students can trace the shoe style digitally in a new layer with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator using the foot template file as the “Template” layer.
- Ensure the drawing is positioned well and then lock the “Template” layer
- Create another layer called “[Name of shoe style]” above
- Use the pen tool to trace a precise silhouette with a contrasting stroke color (e.g. yellow, blue or red). Ensure that all lines segments are closed and that portions of the base are included on each end of the foot (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Traced shoe style silhouette above “Template” layer with portion of the silhouette base included on each end.
- Hide the “Template” layer to review the traced image (Figure 3)
Figure 3: Traced silhouette with “Template” layer hidden
- If satisfied with visible silhouette hide the “Template layer
- Convert the traced silhouette to a “none” fill and black stroke
- Select the completed object and transform it uniformly so that its entire width is 5 inches (height may vary
- Select and copy the entire object (Ctrl+C or Command+C)
- Open Adobe Photoshop.
- Select new file by clicking the “New” button, Ctrl+N or Command+N, or by going to File > New.
- When the New menu opens make sure to set Color Mode to “RGB color” and Background to “White”. Select OK.
- Paste (Ctrl+V or Command+V) the traced object from Adobe Illustrator into Adobe Photoshop as a Path (Figure 4)
Figure 4: Path Paste option selected in Adobe Photoshop
- Select the 3D dropdown menu: 3D > New 3D Extrusion from Selected Path (Figure 5). The screen will convert to 3D mode and a 3D model of your shoe silhouette will appear along with other 3D related settings (Figure 6).
Figure 5: 3D Dropdown Menu
Figure 6: 3D Mode in Adobe Photoshop and “globe” icon (indicated by arrow)
- Do not attempt to rotate the object at this time. In the Properties menu change the extrusion depth to 5 mm (Figure 7). Hit the “Enter” or “Return” key on keyboard. If you can not see the Properties Menu, go to Windows > 3D
Figure 7: Extrusion Depth adjusted to 5 mm
- Click and hold the “globe” icon (Figure 6) in the corner to view the object from multiple angles and ensure the object has a relatively small depth (Figure 8).
Figure 8: Review of object depth
- Go to 3D > 3D Print Settings. The screen will change slightly and some options will appear at the side. Make sure STL File is selected for the Printer option (Figure 9).
Figure 9: 3D Print Settings
- Go to 3D > 3D Print, then select export and name the file “[Shoe style]-[Initials]-[Semester].stl”
Figure 10: 3D Print
- Upload the .stl file to applicable learning management system such as Blackboard, Canvas, WebCT, Moodle etc. Alternatively these can be emailed to the instructor.
• Open Makerbot Print and insert one .stl shoe style file.
• Complete a demonstration on how to use Makerbot print to place the largest surface area flat on the virtual build plate (Figure 11).
Figure 11: Silhouette with largest surface area flat on virtual build plate
• Discuss centering the shoe style silhouette on the virtual build plate
• Optional: Arrange multiple shoe silhouettes on the build plate as part of the demonstration
• Optional: Discuss adjustments to the thickness (must be 5 mm) and width should be 125 mm (about 5 inches). Height may vary.
• Select the following print settings for the shoes: Raft: Yes, Supports: No, Resolution: 0.25 mm and Infill: 10%, and export the file for printing.
• Select the following print settings for the bases: Raft: Yes, Supports: No, Resolution: 0.2 mm and Infill: 10%, and export the file for printing.
1 - 2 Large spool of PLA filament (for bases) – color of choice
1 Large spool of PLA filament - contrasting color of choice (for shoe style silhouettes)
Print or plain paper
Black art/drawing pen or fine marker
Contrasting opaque marker or ink pen
Makerbot Replicator+ Desktop Printer
Printer (fpr paper)
Email or learning management system (e.g. Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas etc.)
Word processor (Microsoft Word template provided)
- Using a scanner
- Basic 3D printing
- Shoe styles
- Footwear styles
2-3 hours of class time (may be split into segments)
- Print shoe bases (at least 10) – 3 hours each. ENSURE THE BOTTOM OF BASE IS POSITIONED FLAT ON THE VIRTUAL BUILD PLATE IN MAKERBOT PRINT.
- Print the two foot templates for students to use when drawing various shoe styles. One template with the foot on level ground (for flat syles) and the other with the heel raised (for heeled styles). Templates available with this project.
- Select key shoe styles (at least 10) from required course textbook. The following titles are good resources: Accessory Design by Aneta Genova and/or Fashion Design Course: Accessories by Jane Schaffer and Sue Saunders
- Have students research each style and select 3 and/or common associations and email these to the instructor.
- Provide students with a guide on how to operate available scanner (using 300 dpi resolution settings)
Rubric and Assessment
Recall and Further Learning
- Once all the shoe styles are printed have each group slide their shoe silhouettes onto a base. Any distingushing details such as buckles, lacing etc. can be drawn or painted onto the flat surface of the printed silhouette using a contrasting opaque permanent marker or acrylic paint.
- Each group should spend about 5 minutes presenting their compiled research for the assigned styles to their peers and summarize with their three key points.
- After all the group presentations have concluded, each group should attempt to match printed key points and name for shoe styles they were not initially assigned. These points should be slid into each base slot and reviewed by the group members that initially researched that shoe style for any errors.
- Display finished bases and shoe styles for review later.
Assess your students with graded quizzes to test recall of shoe styles and key points. Or consider incorporating project information into a final course exam at the end of the semester.
Shoe Style Information Credit
Some information regarding the Pump and Peep Toe shoe styles were taken from "Fashion Design Course: Accessories" by Jane Schaffer and Sue Saunders published in 2012 by Barrons Educational Series, Inc.