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A 3D printed compostable shoe

Shoe brand Vivibarefoot collaborated with material science company Balena to create a 3D printed shoe that is made from compostable materials.

Generally, shoes are made up of a various materials, often glued together and therefore hard or impossible to recycle.

The monomaterial shoes are custom made to size. The customer’s feet are scanned, after which the shoes are 3D printed.

The shoe is a biobased version of Vivibarefoot’s ViviBiome. It is made from Balena’s BioCirflex3D material, which has a flexibility comparable to TPU, but is fully biodegradable. Through a biological recycling mechanism, products crafted from BioCir®flex are able to decompose and biodegrade, safely returning to the ground within controlled industrial compost environments in a fully circular life cycle.

VivoBiome is currently in the testing phase in the UK. They plan to have the shoes available for customers in the next 18 months.

Images: Vivibarefoot / Balena