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P-rouette: Partially 3D Printed Ballet Shoes

Dezeen just recently caught wind of a brand new 3D printed-infused design for ballet shoes.  Hadar Neeman, who graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, has developed P-rouette: “a personalized ballet shoe using 3D printing technology to reduce dancers’ pain.”

“The reimagined ballet shoe is adapted to fit the user’s foot, providing comfort and protection, with the result three times more durable than traditional ballet shoes.”  As Neeman describes, she was searching for a way to apply methods of 3D printed fabrics “when she noticed the bruised feet and crooked toes of a ballet dancing friend.”  Here, she saw a brand new opportunity for 3D printed fabrics.

As Neeman explains: “I learned about pointe shoes and the more I got into the field, the more I realized there was a lot of potential for improving the existing show and improving the quality of life of the dancers.”

And so – Neeman got to work developing her shoe, which is “made in a multistep process.  First the dancer’s foot is scanned, then a detailed map of the shoe is created on a computer.  The dancer can scan their foot using a mobile phone app.  The sole is modelled using a lightweight, airy lattice-structure to perfectly fit the contours of the foot.  The upper part of the pointe shoe is cut on a special shoemaker’s last.”

The shoe’s sole is created using “a printed elastomeric polymer and the shoe body is made of an elastic, satin-like material.”  Before Neeman’s wonderful invention, most pointe shoes have been handmade “using traditional techniques…the shoes only last through 10 hours of dancing…[Neeman’s] shoes last three times longer than their traditional counterparts.”

Image and Quotes Courtesy of Dezeen

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