Selective Laser Sintering with DuraForm® Flex TPU material delivers first 3D printed midsoles for a high-performance running shoe
In the summer of 2015, the 109-year-old sportswear manufacturer New Balance encapsulated its culture of relentless innovation with a fitting slogan: “Always in Beta.”
Nine months later, New Balance put pay to those words with Zante Generate, the world’s first high-performance running shoe with a full-length 3D printed midsole. In tribute to chairman Jim Davis’ 44 years of New Balance ownership, 44 pairs of the shoe were produced at the company’s Lawrence, Massachusetts, facility in collaboration with 3D Systems.
The Zante Generate was made possible by 3D Systems Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) printers and DuraForm® Flex TPU material. For the day-to-day quest to fulfill the “Always in Beta” philosophy, New Balance relies on 3D Systems ColorJet Printing (CJP) for color and form prototyping.
ARC North America uses ProJet® 260Plus to shave weeks off prototyping, reduce costs by up to 90 percent, and help close major business deals
When one thinks of glassware, technological innovation doesn’t spring readily to mind. But it’s an integral part of ARC’s nearly 200-year-old tradition, enlightening every step of the product development process, from design to materials to manufacturing.
The most recent example of innovation comes from ARC’s North American facility in Millville, New Jersey, whose 1,100 employees produce more than one million pieces of glassware each day. ARC North America is using a 3D Systems ProJet 260Plus printer to create full-color prototypes of its latest glassware designs, shaving weeks off its prototyping cycle and reducing its costs per prototype by up to 90%.
Faster path from imagination to reality
“We pride ourselves in developing both innovating shapes for our own brands such as Luminarc and Cristal [...]
The path from prototyping to production poses a number of challenges. The company that’s most successful during this transition are best positioned for success moving forward. With our traditional manufacturing background and key vendors we work with clients from the prototype phase through to production, hopefully these key factors to success can provide some insight into your next project:
Start with 3D Printing to Create Rapid Prototypes
Many firms choose SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) for their initial prototypes due to cost, fit and function that this technology provides. Depending on your industry, SLA, CJP and FDM printing are also good options. SLS, builds parts using a strong, flexible nylon material, is an ideal fit in most instances. The process is accurate, fast and cost-effective – particularly on a low-volume basis, and allows clients to quickly fit-check their design and make any adjustments before gravitating to subtractive machining (where errors can potentially be more costly).