CNC-Milled Leather Sneaker

  • This slip-on sneaker incorporates CNC milling with traditional hand-making to realize a practical and aesthetic footwear solution. Using three millimeter thick soling leather, a CNC mill with a twelve by twelve inch bed, and a one-eighth inch ball-nose bit, I selectively removed material from areas of the pattern which require flexibility and left the leather at full thickness is areas which benefit from rigidity and structure. This shoe doesn’t yet push the full potential of CNC milling leather, but it represents a strong step towards successfully integrating digital fabrication with natural materials to achieve a range of material properties from a single type of natural, environmentally sustainable material.
    Materials: 8/9 ounce vegetable tanned soling leather, natural cork, bonded nylon thread
    Photography by Lucas Vasilko
  • Research and inspiration
  • Design drawing
  • Process images: Patterning in Adobe Illustrator and Rhino, CNC milling tests and the final pattern pieces, sewing, and lasting