on demand 1

Balena & Vivobarefoot, 3D-printed Biodegradable Footwear on-demand

By Balena.

Technology: Fused Deposition Modeling Industry: Commercial Material: BioCirflex3D® Machine: Prusa XL FDM

Balena & Vivobarefoot, 3D-printed Biodegradable Footwear on-demand

Walk Lightly: Biodegradable 3D-printed Footwear for a Greener Future.



In a groundbreaking initiative, shoe brand Vivobarefoot and material science company Balena have joined forces to create a prototype trainer that is 3D-printed from compostable materials. This innovative approach aims to address the harmful impacts of the footwear industry by leveraging cutting-edge technology and material science inspired by nature. Balena's mission focuses on tackling environmental challenges by developing compostable, bio-based, and recyclable thermoplastic materials with advanced performance properties. These materials are designed for scalable production of durable goods, including footwear, to establish a circular model for consumer industries. The result of this mission is a mono-material shoe, 3D-printed from Balena's unique compostable thermoplastic material. At the heart of this innovation is Balena's BioCir®flex material, a revolutionary advancement in material science. This high-performance, durable, and flexible thermoplastic elastomer is fully industrially compostable and recyclable. Comprising over 50% bio-based content, BioCir®flex significantly reduces reliance on toxic, fossil fuel-based materials traditionally used in the footwear industry, such as TPU. The material is designed to decompose and biodegrade through a biological recycling mechanism, allowing products made from BioCir®flex to return safely to the earth within controlled industrial compost environments, thus completing a fully circular lifecycle. Vivobarefoot, a certified B Corp™, is committed to using business as a force for good. Their vision includes creating fully circular barefoot footwear with recyclable or compostable end-of-life solutions. VivoBiome, their ambitious project, envisions a scan-to-print digital footwear system that reimagines footwear design and production. Utilizing biomimetic design principles, additive manufacturing methods, and Balena’s biodegradable BioCir®flex material, Vivobarefoot aims to produce the world’s first 3D-printed, bespoke, and circular footwear. The collaboration between Balena and Vivobarefoot signifies a transformative journey toward mitigating the negative impacts of the footwear industry.



Leave a Reply

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get our best content straight to your inbox

Thank you for subscribing!

You'll receive our latest content every week, straight to your inbox.

Book demo

    Request sent successfully!

    Thank you for submitting a demo request. A member of our Sales Team will be in touch shortly.