Post processing. Source: Thor Jorgen Udvang/
Post processing. Source: Thor Jorgen Udvang/

Sometimes despite our best efforts, a design simply doesn’t work. What can we do when this happens? Here are some thoughts based on our experiences.

Our designer, Kyle, had designed some fantastic shoes just kicking to be made. However, when the shoes were actually printed, we discovered that one of the straps that looked great on-screen made it physically impossible to wear the shoes. We found some other problems as well, but ever the problem-solver, another designer Jess, has discovered some solutions through post-processing.

Jess states:

“So far I have used X-Acto knives and a Dremel drill with the addition of ribbon, thread, and a black elastic strap.

“I have the advantage of my father, who is the most amazing master fabricator I’ve ever met in my life. He has taught me to assess a situation, isolate the problem and decide what tools and processes you have readily available to make it work. There is nothing my dad can’t do and he has instilled in me that anything is possible; you just have to work through it.

“Like the shoes for instance, the situation was that we had an incredible pair of shoes, but the problem was that it was impossible to get a grown woman’s foot through the strap—so I cut it off. Next, I thought “how will the woman wearing these shoes carry the weight of them simply by the toe strap?” Answer—she won’t. We decided that we could modify the shoes to accept a length of ribbon that we could wrap up her leg.

“After those modifications were made, we discovered the toe strap was just a bit too small for comfort. My conclusion again was to cut it off. However I felt that the toe strap was too much an important element of the original design to be tossed out. I wanted to come up with a way that the toe strap stayed but allowed the foot to fit comfortably. I drilled small holes in the toe strap and then sewed a piece of black elastic to them to add a bit of give.

“Once the toe straps are sewn back on, they will be ready for wear. It’s important to keep in mind the specifics of your design early on but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. I think it is just as important to know how to make a failed print work whenever possible.”

So there you have it. If for some reason your design doesn’t work out, we at WhiteClouds will do our best to make it work by using innovate solutions. What fix-it stories do you have? WhiteClouds is a 3D printing service company. You can upload your designs for 3D printing or we can 3D design it for you.