Ballet dancers demonstrating their abilities to be the lords and/or ladies of the dance is truly far from effortless, and the extent to which they inure their feet for their efforts at athleticism is borderline masochistic. In August 2018, Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design graduate Hadar Neeman designed and 3D printed a ballet shoe called the “P-rouette”, using a lightweight lattice structure for the sole and insole. The upper part of the shoe was cut on a special last that Neeman designed herself; it is placed between the sole and insole during printing, avoiding the need for any glue and/or stitches. The toe of the shoe is 3D printed from the same material as the lattice.
3D printing has been employed to create other types of footwear, like athletic shoes, sandals, and high heels. In December 2016, Adidas of Herzogenaurach, Germany released a limited-edition $300 running shoe with a 3D printed midsole known as the 3D Runner. In March 2017 “WiiVV”, launched a Kickstarter campaign for the world’s first 3D-printed custom fit sandals, receiving more than half a million US dollars from circa 5,000 backers. In December 2017, Zoe Jia-Yu Dai of London, England unveiled here original line of 3D printed high heel shoes.
P-rouette shoes offer better support as well as customized fit, protecting against injuries common to ballet dancers. They are also significantly more durable than conventional ballet shoes, which usually only last circa 10 hours of dance at a time.
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