Aug 13, 2018 | By Thomas

Receiving a first pair of pointe shoes is a momentous occasion for any dancer. However, despite their delicate appearance, pointe shoes are incredibly sturdy and hide a battery of injuries: black nails, purpling flesh, growths galore.

Hadar Neeman, a graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem has created personalised ballet shoes using 3D printing technology to reduce dancer's pain. The model is called P-rouette. The 3D printed ballet shoe is adapted to fit the user's foot, and is more durable than traditional pointe shoes.

The creation of 3D printed P-rouette pointe shoes was inspired by her ballet-dancing friend. Neeman graduated with a degree in product design and was looking for a field where she could apply methods of 3D-printed fabrics. After seeing the damage - bruised feet and crooked toes - her friend has suffered from dancing, Neeman realised that 3D printing could also employed to improve the shoes worn by ballet dancers.

"The more I learned about pointe shoes, the more I realized that there was a lot of potential for improving the existing shoe," explained Neeman.

The creation of adaptive P-rouette pointe shoes is a multistep process. Initially, the dancer's foot is scanned using a mobile phone app. The scan is then used to create a detailed map and then a 3D model. The sole of the pointe shoes is modeled using a lightweight lattice polymer to perfectly fit the contours of the foot. The satiny upper part of the shoe was cut on a special shoemaker’s last that Neeman created herself. The fabric top is integrated into the sole during the printing process, so that the fabric is trapped between printed layers. There is no need to fasten these parts with glue or stitches. The shoe body is made of an elastic, satin-like material.

Until now, most of the pointes worn by dancers are still handmade using traditional techniques. Usually they only last through 10 hours of dancing. These 3D printed P-rouette ballet shoes last three times longer than their traditional counterparts.



Posted in 3D Printing Application

Source: Dezeen


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