CRP Technology has built as a single unit the structural part of Pleko spike shoes: outsole, midsole, pins and ribbing. The result is a functional prototype, flexible and resistant to deformation even in thin thicknesses, which is innovative for customization, technologies and material used: Carbon fiber reinforced Windform SPcomposite.
Pleko track spikes with outsole, midsole, pins and ribbing 3D printed as single unit in Carbon fiber filled composite material Windform SP. Courtesy Miro Buroni
Venetian middle–distance runner Miro Buroni has created and developed Pleko, customized and revolutionary athletics track shoes (in jargon, spike shoes) with innovative features in terms of production technology and material.
To create Pleko, Miro made use of the skills and support of two companies, Diadora for historical analysis and design; CRP Technology for the manufacture of the outsole–midsole and ribbing, through professional 3D printing (Powder Bed Fusion process with composite polymers fibers-reinforced, that is Selective Laser Sintering) and Windform SP Carbon fiber filled composite material.
The creation of Pleko started with the three-dimensional scan of the athlete’s foot. This step was followed by the biomechanical analysis of the act of running and footing through the 3D foot scan.
“With this mapping – Buroni comments – we were able to model the shoe on the individual’s needs in terms of foot structure and athletic performance.
Moreover, scanning and biomechanical analysis allowed us to understand the best placement of the “traction system” under the outsole, the “pins”.
When the project was ready to became reality, Buroni decided to use additive manufacturing to build the supporting structure of the Pleko.
Thus, he focused on finding a company able to provide professional 3D printing service and a material with “strong characteristics of resistance to bending“.
That’s because the material was critical: the results of the investigation on the force transmitted to the track shoes during the track race and the connected requirements,confirmed that the success of the project would have depended on the manufacturingmaterial for the outsole, midsole and ribbing. Just a material with excellent mechanical characteristics would have allowed Buroni to create innovative track shoes.
“After a brief research – Buroni states – it immediately became clear that CRP Technology was the perfect company to realize my project, and that one of CRP Technology‘s top composite materials, Windform SP, was the appropriate construction material.”
Windform SP is a Carbon fiber filled composite material from the CRP Technology’s Windform TOP-LINE range of composites for PBF Laser Sintering technology, with excellent characteristics of resistance to deformation and flexibility: “the right features for the athletics track shoes.”
“Windform SP – Miro adds – guarantees excellent resistance even in very thin thicknesses; this feature allowed me to create a spike shoes with a perfect foot envelopment, that facilitates an increase of the comfort and the enhancement of the performance.”
The part manufactured in Windform SP
CRP Technology manufactured as single unit Pleko’s outsole, midsole, ribs and pins. Ribs are originated from under the outsole, in correspondence with the lines of maximum effort during the track race.
Front view Pleko track spikes with outsole, midsole, pins and ribbing 3D printed as single unit in Carbon fiber filled composite material Windform® SP. Courtesy CRP Technology/Miro Buroni
Thanks to the ribs, the structure in Windform SP embraces the athlete’s foot “like a cage”, which envelops the foot and facilitate improvements in the running technique. The ribs are responsible for carrying the kinetic energy releases from the biomechanical movement during the track race, and preventing its dispersion.
The sock-like upper is almost completely detached from the structure and responsible for protecting the foot.
“Thanks to the pins under the outsole – adds Miro – the “cage” in Windform SP allows the athlete to develop as much strength as possible, without losing energy. I positioned the deepest pins in the points of superior pressure of the feet against the ground. I also putsmaller studs in other parts of the outsole: these studs are on a equal basis essential for the stability of the track shoes.”
Once the structural part was 3D printed, other tests carried out on the Pleko.
Buroni was very satisfied with the results achieved: “The design and manufacturing technologies, combined with the Windform SP and its mechanical characteristics, madethe Pleko track shoes highly innovative, taking the entire, whole project to the highest level of customization and specialization. I am very satisfied with my 3D printed Pleko andWindform SP.”