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VARIANT3D | A fusion of nature and technology


he best part of the project was being able to bring many different disciplines and bring a complex AI-generated design to life using real, sustainable materials”

In an ambitious endeavour to push the boundaries of design, sustainability, and function within the footwear industry, the VeloxAI shoe developed by VARIANT3D and designed by SliceLab emerges as a beacon of innovation. Inspired by the agility and grace of the Roadrunner bird and powered by advanced additive technology, this design is more than just a shoe—it’s a vision of the future.

Design | Inspiration

The VeloxAI shoe was conceived with a bold ambition: to redefine the landscape of footwear through a product that blends the elegance of nature with the precision of technology. The design narrative champions the integration of technological innovation with environmental stewardship, showcasing the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) in crafting products that are not only aesthetically pleasing and functional but also kind to our planet.

Drawing inspiration from the Roadrunner (Geococcyx Velox), the VeloxAI shoe embodies the bird’s swiftness and adaptability. The 3D-knit upper, intricate and refined, is designed to mirror the Roadrunner’s sleek form and the dynamic pattern of its feathers, with AI algorithms fine-tuning the design akin to the bird’s fluid motion.

Developement | Yarn selection

The journey was fraught with challenges, notably in transitioning knit patterns from synthetic to natural fibres without sacrificing texture or performance. These hurdles necessitated a blend of digital finesse and material innovation.

Production process
The utilisation of VARIANT3D’s LOOP software marked a revolutionary step in our development process, automating knitting pattern generation and slashing manual design time by a staggering 90%. This not only expedited the design process but also embraced a near-zero-waste philosophy, aligning with our sustainability ethos.

Yarn selection
OTW® Midway GRS
Nm 2/60
60% Wool 23.5µ
40% recycled Polyamide

Yarn benefits
The choice of yarn was critical, with the selection tailored for footwear applications. The chosen fibre offered ease of handling on flatbed knitting machines, flexibility, and excellent loft retention, contributing to the shoe’s comfort, breathability, moisture management, odour resistance, and durability.

Results | Learnings

Product benefits
The VeloxAI shoe stands out for its breathability, moisture-wicking capabilities, odour resistance, and comfortable fit, alongside exceptional stretch recovery and colour retention. These features collectively enhance the wearer’s experience, emphasising comfort, durability, and performance.

Unique product attributes
At the heart of the VeloxAI shoe’s creation is its sustainable production method, achieving near-zero waste through precise, 3D knitting. This, coupled with the iterative design enabled by LOOP software, minimised production iterations while maximising aesthetic and functional fidelity.

Given more time, experimenting with various yarn counts and colours would have been ideal, especially thinner yarns that could better represent the diversity of skin tones integral to the design concept.

Looking forward
Reflecting on the project, the amalgamation of different disciplines to realise a complex, AI-generated design using real, sustainable materials was profoundly rewarding. It underscored the potential of interdisciplinary collaboration in overcoming design and production challenges, heralding a new era in footwear innovation.


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Suedwolle Group GmbH
Wieseneckstr. 26
90571 Schwaig
Metropolitan Area Nuremberg

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