Carbon fiber and additive manufacturing improve the performance of Pleko cleats

Photo credit: CRP Technology

Venetian middle distance runner Miro Buroni created and developed Pleko, a custom athletic shoe (or spike shoe) with support from Italian sportswear and footwear manufacturer Diadora (Veneto, Italy) for analysis history and CRP technology (Modena, Italy) for the manufacture of the outsole, midsole and ribbing using its Windform SP composite material loaded with carbon fibers and selective laser sintering by powder bed fusion (PBF) process.

A 3D scan of athlete’s foot, followed by a biomechanical analysis of the act of running and walking thanks to the 3D scan of the foot, allowed companies to model the shoe according to an individual’s needs in terms of foot structure and athletic performance. “In addition, the scan and biomechanical analysis allowed us to understand the best placement of the ‘traction system’ under the outsole, the”pins», Says Miro Buroni.

The additive manufacturing process was chosen to build Pleko’s support structure, as well as CRP Technology’s range of Windform SP Top-Line composite materials, which provided Buroni with strong mechanical characteristics, such as resistance to deformation. and flexibility, the ‘good characteristics for athletic track shoes.

“Windform SP”, explains Buroni, “guarantees excellent resistance even in very thin thicknesses; this feature allowed me to create cleats with a perfect wrap of the foot which facilitates an increase in comfort and improved performance.

Custom Pleko cleats.

Custom Pleko cleats. Photo credit: CRP Technology

CFRP manufactured Pleko’s outsole, midsole, ribs and pins as one unit. The ribs, Buroni notes, originate from under the outsole, in correspondence with the lines of maximum effort during track running. They are responsible for transporting the kinetic energy released by biomechanical movement during track running, and preventing its dispersion. Thanks to them, the Windform SP structure is also able to embrace the athlete’s foot “like a cage” to facilitate improvement in running technique.

“Thanks to the studs under the outsole, the Windform SP ‘cage’ allows the athlete to develop as much strength as possible without wasting energy. I positioned the deepest pins in the top pressure points of the feet against the ground. I also put smaller cleats in other parts of the outsole: these cleats are also essential for the stability of the running shoes, ”says Buroni.

Overall, Buroni is satisfied with the results obtained. “The design and manufacturing technologies, combined with the Windform SP and its mechanical characteristics, made the Pleko track shoes very innovative, taking the whole project to the highest level of customization and specialization,” he concludes.


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