Honestly, what’s a better start to the semester than watching films and shit-posting.  I’m not a big fan of twitter, outside of using it for uni subjects like this and looking at listicles titled something like, “The 85 Funniest Tweets Of All Time” I never really interact with the site.  This however, isn’t my first time live-tweeting in a subject (see DIGC330), but that didn’t mean it was any less difficult.

I love the discussion that live-tweeting offers, but I also thinks it’s a hard thing to do during films you’re watching for the first time.  It’s kind of a distraction, taking you out of the viewing experience and making you potentially miss essential parts of the plot.  What live-tweeting really did was let me see things from 30 different perspectives in real-time, something just not possible any other way.  I felt that the viewings and twitter feeds together really strengthened the information presented in Chris’ lectures.

As for my own tweets, I think I definitely could have been a bit less shit-posty and more constructive.  So that’s a lesson for next time.  Here are a selection of my tweets from throughout the 8 weeks with some added context.



Week 1 – Ghost in the Shell (1995)


I told one of my friends who is BIG into anime that we were watching this for week one.  He basically told me that it takes a few watches to really get a feel for the full scope of the film, and what it meant at the time of release.  I didn’t know what it was about or had seen the live action remake, so it was a totally fresh viewing experience.




I always thought this was one of the funnier things about dubbed content from other languages.  But it also brings up the debate about whether dubbing or subbing is the best way to convey the original meaning.




This related to the way hosts were created in the HBO re-boot of the sci-fi classic.  It’s both unsettling and fascinating to see.  It also relates well to the Futurecraft 4D printing process developed by Adidas and Carbon that I’ve spoken about in my other blog posts.




We are advancing our technology so quickly, it only seems right that sci-fi/ cyberpunk film and literature will be right about androids.  So how will legislated, controlled, governed… whatever.  Will they be given the same rights as humans, animals or toasters?




See my tweet about the android birthing/ Westworld thing.  Not sure if it’s true, but it seemed to be a likely link.




Obviously most famous for its use in the Matrix series, but I guess it had to come from somewhere.




With the talk of doctoring images and altering memories/ history, I thought the link between this and Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four was evident.





Everyone knows Lars is the real villain.




Again, what rights do you give something that can think and feel but is machine?




The score for this was awesome, and is just one of the similar elements you see across most of the cyberpunk genre.



Week 2 – Westworld (1972)


It’s one of those things you see in older film about the future, they think of some futuristic elements but not others.  Make realistic androids, but can’t clean them up in a cooler way.




Underrated film, the dance still holds up.




I think the multiple “Worlds” concept in the original is really cool, and something I hope they explore a bit more in the HBO series. (I just watched S2E1 and they showed the dead Bengal tiger, which obviously shouldn’t be in the wild west… so that’s promising)




This was a good read, and a good tweet as shown by the many interactions.  The quote Phi Phi extracted was perfect in capturing the film and many elements of sci-fi/ cyberpunk content.



Week 3 – Johnny Mnemonic (1995)


As a disclaimer, this was a terrible film and I couldn’t really bring myself to think about what complex ideas and concepts it presented.




The phone-booth time machine would have been a welcomed addition to this film.




The edgier the haircuts the more futuristic seems to be the general rule with these types of films.




It was hard to miss his very distinctive voice at the start.




Henry is an incredibly fascinating guy; made great music in his early days and speaks about some pretty heavy topics now.




Fresh off that other movie about a bus that had to speed around the city, keeping its speed over fifty, and if its speed dropped, it would explode!  I think it was called “The Bus That Couldn’t Slow Down.”  It’s hard to believe he could make a film as poor as this.




I thought this was interesting.  I guess we already have the ‘HD storage’ the film speaks about built-in, and we’re constantly rewriting the data it holds.  For some it’s probably evident their twitter feed is them constantly backing up their head-held hard drive.




I don’t know how the Dolphin was introduced in Gibson’s short story but it confused the hell out of me in the film.  If I remember correctly, I was looking through the twitter feed when it was properly introduced, and so totally lacked any understanding for the rest of it.




This could have been the saving grace of the film.  Cage would have brought a little more life to the character and it would have given the film a big boost.  What would have been even better still is if the information that Johnny (now played by Nicolas Cage) have to transport via his brain drive was the Declaration of Independence.

And I spelt ‘spelt’ wrong… ironic



Week 4 – The Matrix (1999)


Outside of maybe the Terminator franchise, The Matrix has to take the cake for most stylistic and popular in the category.  The green code is now synonymous with the film and genre, and the ideas it presented have continued to be spoken about to this day.




I’d like to think Steve Ballmer wanted Microsoft to buy Nokia just so he had ownership of this phone.




Weaving does well in any role, but he just captured the character so well.  His portrayal was deserving of #82 on IGN list of Top Villains.




This just seems to be such a significant trope in the cyberpunk genre.  The dystopian future where they have all this technology and knowledge, but apparently anyone who can build new structures has disappeared so they must suffer with derelict buildings everywhere.




This such a cool scene, and what I thought was really cool when I first watched this at my neighbour’s house as an 8 year old.




Again, it is just something that doesn’t escape the genre.  Why isn’t everything all shiny and new?  IT’S THE FUTURE!

I thought I remembered Chris actually replying to this explaining where the theme came from, but I couldn’t find it when I looked.




I’ve read a good bit about Rastafarianism, and listened to plenty of Reggae so when I saw Nebuchadnezzar I made the link.  Maybe it’s a tenuous connection, but something like that isn’t placed in the film on a whim.




It’s a departure from the ethereal sounds of Vangelis in Blade Runner or Kenji Kawai in Ghost in the Shell, but it captures the film well.  I feel music for the genre goes two ways, it’s either more serene techno, very synth heavy or its grimy nu-metal.  Both styles work really well.




I look forward to checking out The Animatrix in the break.  I suppose a hypothetical-something to consider is, if AI was to become self-aware and self-actualising, would its process of ‘evolution’ become faster and more streamlined.  The ultimate goal of evolution is efficiency, so if the AI was to become aware that a something about its self could be more efficient, would it fix it at that moment.  Repeating the process until maximum efficiency is achieved.

Were the more ‘organic’ appearing forms of machines we saw a result of the AI’s quest for efficiency.




They’re horrendous, he wasn’t helping.



Week 5 – Black Mirror S2E1 ‘’Be Right Back” (2013)


One of the most enjoyable things about watching Black Mirror before the Netflix takeover was the amount of British and Irish talent we got to see.  At this point Atwell was playing Peggy Carter in the Captain America franchise, and Gleeson had played Bill Weasley in Harry Potter.




Please tell me a better option.




The newest season just didn’t hold a candle to Seasons 1 or 2.  While the budget may have gone up due to Netflix’s involvement, the quality of story and the technological concepts they tackled just didn’t seem as interesting or realistic.




The realism of early episodes was what hooked me instantly, it made you really considered the impact of the technology they were introducing.  How would this affect me?




Something that we should all consider every time we hit the ‘post’ button.  It stays with you, whatever you put out there.  So making sure you are able to accept the consequences is essential to navigating social media.




But anyone who posts enough for a program to gather sufficient data to rebuild you as a person needs to rethink how they use social media, it is only a tool.




It’s the little things that make a difference.



Week 6 – Robot and Frank (2012)


“Hey! Frank Langella we have this movie we would love you to be a part of, it’s called ‘Robot and Stanley’”

“Forget about it”

“It’s called ‘Robot and Frank’”

“I’m in”




Whenever the subject matter dealt with robots/ androids it was always the same question for me.  How will they be treated in our communities when the time comes that they are more ‘human’ than some of us?

Will there be a time when someone decides Asmiov’s Laws of Robotics stand in the way of progress?

What happens when we can control our creations?






Their relationship did blossom and they did become great pals.



This was hard to do for some of the viewings.  I became so interested in the movie I didn’t even want to look at twitter.


Yeah, that was pretty hard to watch.  We’re obviously not built to live forever, but it’s hard to see someone’s body/ mind failing them, especially someone close.

Week 7 – Black Mirror S3E6 ‘Hated in the Nation’


The manipulation of social media channels to drive events, political or otherwise, is an extremely common practice.  In light of the election scandal, companies like twitter have committed to better police these abuses.  But the threat is still very real.

Traditional media sources have always been the prime movers of opinion in the political sphere, but now we are seeing just how important a retweet or hashtag really is.

While legacy media sources were the gate keepers, it meant the influence of foreign powers was more or less kept in check.  The ability of global access to the social media feeds of citizens has completely changed how foreign governments can manipulate the minds of citizens.




What do you give up in the quest for innovation?  Do we sacrifice our security on one side, to gain something on their other?  Is it actually worth it?  Just save the goddamn bees, people have BEEn saying it for years.  You don’t need to make an artificial plan BEE, just focus on the little pollinating pals we have now.




Am I now on a list somewhere?

I probably already am.

I hope the Garret Scholes of the world know I didn’t mean it.






The twist that this episode leaves you on is definitely my favourite part.  He should BEE PUNished.



As I said, live-tweeting is a great experience.  It adds a whole new dimension to the class room and allows for this really weird silent discussion aspect.  I recommend live-tweeting to everyone when watching something live, it can be a lot of fun.  At the very least watch the twitter feeds for reality shows like The Bachelor, they can be an absolute comedy gold-mine.



You Gotta Have Sole

Image result for flyprint
(via TechCrunch)

In the last blog post I tried to give a sort of overview of the concept and the existing ideas around 3D-printing footwear.  So in this post I want to address how I’m travelling with the project, and do a bit of a deeper dive into the research and literature surrounding the topic.

How is the project coming along?

When I first laid out my ideas for the project I think I too heavily leaned on the process of me attempting to make a 3D-printed shoe sole, while neglecting the more interesting things like the existing technology and its implications for the future of footwear.

For me, learning how this technology can be made viable for wider implementation is the most interesting part.  I love all aspects of footwear, having worked in the industry at a retail and now corporate level.  So I can definitely appreciate the effects that this technology will have on a grand scale.

My big question is about how we going to see it come to fruition commercially.  Of course, as I spoke about in the last post there are major footwear brands starting to incorporate printing tech into their products.  But what I want to know is how this will impact footwear going forward, are we going to see an era of mass personalisation?

Currently we are seeing these 3D-printed designs release in small numbers and higher price points.  But as the industry continues to move with this tech we are no doubt going to see an increase in accessibility and decrease in cost for the average consumer.

However, I feel that this approach would be to the detriment of 3D-printing.  Bringing its use in-line with existing manufacturing techniques feels gimmicky. Honestly, if you’re just going to substitute the foam midsoles that the market is familiar with to with 3D-printed versions that offer no added personalisation then I would think it’s safe to say it’s a waste.


What has already been published about it?

When I looked into what has already been published on this subject, I found my searches came up pretty bare.  There seems to be very little published at an academic level.  I think the reason for this is two-fold; the application of 3D-printing in the footwear/ textile industry is very new/ pretty experimental, and because it has been traditionally used in more ‘technical’ industries for prototyping/ construction.

However, articles outside of the scholarly space are plentiful.  Due to footwear (more specifically sneakers) being part of the cultural zeitgeist, there are many publications writing about the latest styles and technological advances.

So what have I found?

  • Anna Perry(2017) 3D-printed apparel and 3D-printer: exploring advantages, concerns, and purchases, International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, 11:1, 95-103, DOI: 1080/17543266.2017.1306118

This article examines the perceptions a group of study participants had to 3D-printed apparel and technology.  The results indicated that the advantages (customisation and fit) were not the main drives to purchase, but the concerns (perceived comfortability and little ease of motion) were the dominant reasons for not buying.

  • Corral, Laura C. and Walker, Kaitlyn J., “Exploring the Abilities of 3D Printing and its Viability for Consumption in the Fashion Industry” (2017). Apparel Merchandising and Product Development Undergraduate Honors Theses. 1. http://scholarworks.uark.edu/ampduht/1

This thesis first explores the process and applications of 3D-printing in a fashion context.  The authors then explore the viability of 3D printed garments by making their own wear-test sample and measuring consumer response.  The found overall perceptions to be positive, and concluded that further study and testing of its capabilities was warranted.

***I found that this paper really resonated with what I’m attempting to do but with textiles.  They did the research and then tried to design and produce samples to further investigate.***


I found AndresVH’s CAD files on Thingiverse and it is definitely the best example of what I’m trying to replicate.  He create a modular version of the ‘FutureCraft’ sole design, and although it isn’t to the same standard of printed using the same material, it is a very decent at home attempt.

(Above is the finished product combining the Adidas UltraBoost with the modular printed sole unit)


This is what really put printed footwear technology on the map.  Adidas had been on a roll with releases and were having their best financial period ever when they announced Futurecraft.  It started out as a regularly 3D-printed sole unit, but once the German giants linked-up with the Silicon Valley based tech firm Carbon, Futurecraft 4D was born.  Utilising Carbon’s Digital Light Synthesis technology, the 4D was dubbed the “world’s first high performance footwear midsoles crafted with light and oxygen,” designed to provide a controlled return of energy due to its lattice design.

If you have a few $$$ to blow you can purchase the Futurecraft 4D here and here.



As I spoke about in the last post, there has been a push in the last couple of years for the bigger brands to incorporate 3D-printing into their designs.  While for a long time it was only prototypes being shown to the public, the last couple of years have seen commercially available models release from the likes of Adidas, New Balance, and Under Armour.

While the other big names in footwear have focused their efforts on printing soles.  It’s only this week that Nike has announced their new Flyprint technology.  Nike Flyprint is the first time we have seen a 3D-printed textile upper in the performance space.  As a basic overview, Flyprint consists of a TPU filament that is unwound froma coil, melted and printed into specific layers.  This printing method revolutionises the way in which performance footwear can be personalised.  Flyprint starts with performance data collected from the athlete which is translated into the most beneficial Flyprint design.  Nike have also engineered the process to bond with their existing Flyknit upper material, meaning enhanced flexibility and stretch in the design.

Thankfully, this breakthrough means I’ll soon be able to buy a pair of 3D-printed sneakers from my beloved Nike.


These are just a few examples of the information that’s out there about 3D-printing in the footwear industry.  It’s fun to search through different 3D-printing CAD sites like Thingiverse to see some of the designs people have made.  There’s also tonnes more information from the various footwear blogs, magazines and websites (here’s a good start).



As for my own 3D-printed creation I mentioned earlier progress has slowed.  I haven’t found time to get a really good feel of how some of the CAD software like Blender work.  One idea I have had however is to try and modify the design by AndresVH that I spoke about above.  It gives me a basis to work up from rather than designing the lattice etc. from scratch.