A 3D printed shoe that aims to reduce ballet dancers’ pain

Have you ever seen a performance of ballet dancers? They seem to do what they do effortlessly and yet, every movement has been harshly worked to look so natural. Bruises and wounds on their feet are an integral part of their job. That’s why, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduate Hadar Neeman decided to something to do something about it.

The former student has reimagined a ballet shoe that may fit the user’s foot. Created using 3D printing, the shoes are called P-rouette. According to the maker, the 3D printed shoes provide comfort and protection to the athlete. They would be three times more resistant than traditional shoes.

Hadar Neeman

Hadar Neeman is a product design graduate from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design (Jerusalem). Her project starts when she was looking for a field where she could apply methods of 3D printed fabrics.

Aware of the fact that 3D printing is exploited in a variety of areas including sportswear, Neeman decided to exploit the technology after seeing the bruised feet of a ballet dancing-friend.

I learned about pointe shoes and the more I got into the field, the more I realised that there was a lot of potential for improving the existing shoe and improving the quality of life of the dancers,” said Neeman.

The Fabrication

A lightweight lattice structure was used for the sole and the insole. After designing the shoe, our maker called for the help of a specialist shoemaker to cut the satiny upper part of the shoe which has been placed between the sole and insole during printing, trapping it so that no glue or stitches are needed. Lastly, the same lattice material has been used to 3D print the toe of the shoe.

image via Dezeen

We are living at an age where technology is prevalent and accessible in almost any field, particularly in sports,” said Neeman. “Why were pointe shoes left behind? In order to allow customization for professional dancers, most pointe shoes are still created by hand using traditional techniques.”

From what Neeman said, the 3D printed ballet shoe provides support and protection from injury. It would be interesting to hear feedback from ballet dancers who tried out P-rouette regarding these aspects.

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