SLEM was established in 2013 as an education and innovation center for the shoe industry. They teach designers according to an inspiring vision for the future in which old craftsmanship and modern techniques work hand in hand to uncover new possibilities. The institute carries out important innovation projects for major shoe brands. Innovation in the industry is SLEM's core business, and the right 3D printer plays a key role in this.
Innovators at SLEM work at a high level. A great deal of experimentation takes place within projects with prototypes and production and other techniques. SLEM therefore needs a printer that is reliable and versatile. “With the Tractus3D Delta printer, it doesn't matter which material you're working with. It can handle anything,” explains Troy Nachtigall, one of the researchers at SLEM.
Marketing manager Lea van Dongen describes the collaboration with Tractus: “If you really want to bring about change – which we do – then you need more than just any 3D printer. The technology inside the printer, the materials you work with, your knowledge of the processes: everything has to be just right. Tractus3D is also evolving its product, so our mutual interest makes us good partners for each other.”
After decades of little to no change, the boundaries of what is possible in the shoe industry have shifted rapidly. Efforts are being made in the 3D printing lab to improve printing techniques. The researchers working on this call themselves toolmakers. “The key to the new generation of shoes are the tools needed to get there. We're working on the tools that make it possible to create things today that will be normal to us tomorrow.”
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