Yeah, you see kids frolicking about in their Velcro buckle shoes and remember when life use to simple and carefree. No wonder the international sign for frustration is a unlaced shoe. It’s not? Well, IT SHOULD BE.


There, I feel better now.

Fortunately for all of us who can’t bend over to tie a shoe, don’t want to bend over to tie a shoe or are too busy using fingers to screenjab words into a electronic screen, the Ruiz brothers at Adafruit have a magnetic shoelace project that both solves the problem of lacing up and serves as a great project for an intro to design and 3D printing.

Magnetic Shoelace Project

The solution uses two 3D printed lace closures and four neodymium magnets to connect that opening atop your footsies. They go through the design using Fusion 360, providing the measurement and sizing they used for the closure, while showing you what you need to adjust in case you have some weird ass shoes. Here are the magnetic laces in action:

Your day is complete isn’t it? AND there’s hope for future. They test printed the closures out on a Sigma BCN3D, Deltaprintr Go and a Printrbot Play 3D printer with no support material used, because they’re gangstas. Since the magnets are press fit, they recommend measuring your own magnets to make sure the fit will be nice and snug – you don’t want to compound the frustration of laces with the frustration of magnetic laces not working… the horror.


I love the idea of using this project as an introduction to design and 3D printing for younger kids, seeing how they approach solutions to the problem BEFORE showing this one, then reinforcing the principles of parametric design and design for manufacturing. Fun times, right?


I don’t know about you, but Ima buy a truck of neodymium magnets and start replacing the buttons, laces and snaps on all my clothes. What? Yeah, I have clothes that snap, and they’re the finest pajama onsies money can buy, in case you’re wondering. Get all the info, instructions and files for the magnetic laces here on Adafruit.




Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.