LONDON - MO - All eyes lower towards my feet as I enter the party. This is quite a swanky bash with a glamorous guest list and normally the prospect of an invitation to such an event would have sent me into wardrobe crisis. But tonight I’m quietly confident.

For although my dress isn’t haute couture by any standards, I can be completely sure my shoes are unique, bespoke - a complete one-off, in fact.

Scarlet, with a spiky geometric shape and curvy, pierced heels, they are also impossible to ignore. ‘They’re amazing!’ says one well-heeled onlooker. ‘Where did you get them?’  ‘Oh,’ I say casually, dropping the bombshell. ‘I printed them off.’

That’s right. I produced them on a printer. A 3D printer - a machine that doesn’t look too dissimilar to paper photocopiers in offices the world over.

Instead of firing ink onto a page, 3D printers lay down, sweep after sweep, minute particles of plastic, metal or even wood in thin layers to gradually build a solid object.

Or, in my case, two objects: my futuristic shoes, which I’d had drawn on a computer. I am at the vanguard of a 3D-printing trend which is set to revolutionise the way we shop. Experts insist that instead of scouring the High Street for a range of consumer goods, we’ll soon be printing them out ourselves at home.

Apparently we will be able to create the objects of our dreams while blow-drying our hair, applying our make-up or cooking dinner.

And it is not just shoes which can be printed off. Almost any object you can imagine is getting the print treatment: chess set pieces, mugs, iPhone cases and plastic jewellery.

In 2011, the world’s first printed car, the Urbee, rolled off the presses. More worryingly, last month, the first printed gun was successfully fired. A 3D printed house starts construction in Holland later in the year.

Researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh have even pioneered a process that prints stem cells, raising the prospect that, in future, organs can be ‘printed off’ for patients waiting for a transplant. The technology is already being used to build arteries, ears and teeth.

Earlier this year, a patient in the US had most of his skull replaced with a 3D-printed implant. So, if anything, fashion has taken its time to get in on the act. In March this year, burlesque artiste Dita Von Teese, famous for her vintage gowns, showed off a nylon and crystal mesh dress that had been custom-printed to her famous curves. Meanwhile, milliner Stephen Jones has created 3D printed hats.

So when I heard you could print your own shoes, I resolved to track down a machine and create the pair of my dreams. I’ve always fancied a pair of red shoes - I have a favourite red dress and no suitable footwear to wear with it.

The scribble I came up with was a combination of an origami shoe made out of paper I’d spotted on the internet with the brilliantly eccentric backwards heel worn by the models striding the autumn/winter Christian Dior catwalks.

Lacking the technical know-how to transform a hazy mental vision into a printable design, I went to iMakr, the world’s largest 3D printing store, which has just opened in London and offers a print-on-demand service.

The 3D printers on display here are surprisingly affordable: an entry-level, consumer-grade machine starts at around £750, rising to over £3,000 for machines that can print in several colours simultaneously. They look like dismantled microwave ovens, with a platform on which the object is built and a printer above, into which the raw plastic is fed through a nozzle.

The shop is the brainchild of Sylvain Preumont, an elegantly urbane French engineer, who predicts the technology will ‘change everything’. ‘In a couple of years, 3D printers will be like computers,’ says Preumont. ‘You won’t be able to get away from them.’

And he should know; in the Nineties, he used to work for a management consultancy where his job was to explain the concept of email to CEOs. ‘They all laughed at me,’ he says. ‘They said, we have secretaries, we don’t need it.’

Already architects, engineers and arts students are flocking to buy the new technology. The 3D machines are even appearing in primary schools, where children can make Plasticine models, then see them turned into plastic toys.

Down in the basement, I meet designer Gianmarco Colalongo, whose job it will be to bring my dream shoes to life.