Druvay Jain traveled to Singapore last spring to collect some
hardware after he and his team members took first place for their
design of a custom-fit shoe in the 2016 International 3-D Printing
The competition, organized by the Singapore Centre for 3-D
Printing at Nanyang Technological University, promotes awareness
and adoption of 3-D printing technologies. This year's assignment
required competitors to fabricate fashionable and functional
eyewear or shoes.
Jain and fellow graduate students Priyanka Nikam, Hardik Gandhi
and Anshika Chourdhary, all of the Department of Industrial and
Systems Engineering (ISE), and Weihao Qu of the Department of
Computer Science and Engineering (CSE)—got together to design
and create a shoe tailored to a person’s unique preferences
and needs. The team was guided by ISE faculty members Chi Zhou and
Lora Cavuoto, CSE faculty member Wenyao Xu and CSE research
scientist Feng Lin.
The final product was a 2-in-1 shoe that is customized to the
user’s foot with added comfort, durability, functionality and
aesthetics. The shoe is designed to be worn as a sandal or as a
closed shoe with the use of a simple slide-in system.
The students say they selected “Peace—art meets
technology to shape a better future” as the name of the shoe
to project a message of world peace. The design features
illustrations of a world map, a dove, olive leaves and the peace
symbol to help convey that message.
“We feel it’s extremely important to communicate a
message through our products that resonates with the masses and has
a social relevance, too,” says Jain, who led the team
Team members began working on the project in November, months
ahead of its April 8 deadline, and spent much of their time
engrossed in it. Their hard work paid off, as they won the
competition, which includes a top prize of $10,000.
“What appears to be a simple shoe design actually involved
extensive research and design challenges,” says Jain.
“We were motivated to add functionalities to the footwear and
re-design the conventional, generic shoe designs.”
As one of the group’s mentors, Zhou watched the team take
advantage of the unique features of 3-D printing, such as high
ﬂexibility, multi- functionality and high complexity, to
construct their final product.
“The participation and success of the team not only
enhanced the national and international visibility of UB in the
emerging field of advanced design and manufacturing,” says
also facilitated international education and promoted the
innovation and creativity of the next generation.”
Jain notes that the 3-D printing technology enables the students
to “bring our creative thoughts to life. It brings together
art and technology to produce some novel innovations that can pave
the way for a better future.”
Adds Zhou: “With this new technology, the only limitation
is our imagination and innovation.”
While in Singapore, Jain met with UB alumnus Andrew Tan
(BS’15), who welcomed him on behalf of UB Alumni’s
Members of the winning student team and their faculty advisors.