- Additive Manufacturing
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OECHSLER AG ("OECHSLER"), a leading polymer technology group with a global presence and headquarters in Ansbach/Mittelfranken, Germany, is relying on Carbons 3D printing technology to enter the additive series production of back pads for Jack Wolfskin backpacks. The German outdoor market leader is relying on additive manufacturing for its new "3D Aerorise 40" model and for the entire "Aerorise" backpack series. Jack Wolfskin's new backpacks are equipped with four innovative 3D-printed back pads produced by OECHSLER using Carbons 3D printing technology. The pads are optimized for the adjacent body zones and set new standards in ergonomics and wearing comfort while reducing weight.
Lattice structure enables weight reduction and improved ventilation
The back pads consist of an open grid structure ("lattice") that can only be produced using 3D printing. They are placed in the shoulder and lumbar area and replace traditional foam padding. The grid consists of thousands of rod-shaped, elastic connections of different vertical and horizontal strengths. Hence, the degrees of hardness in the component can be adapted to the body structure: Soft, where comfort is crucial, and firmer, where stability is required.
In addition, the lattice structure offers numerous advantages that could not be achieved with conventional production methods until now. For example, the lattice structure enables weight reduction, improves ventilation and thus leads to a temperature reduction in pressure zones of up to five degrees Celsius. Another advantage is increased wearing comfort - especially when carrying high loads.
Matthias Weißkopf, General Manager of OECHSLER Motion and Senior Vice President Global Product & Technology Development, says: "We are pleased to support Jack Wolfskin in the development of the 'Aerorise' backpack series. With our expertise in additive manufacturing, we have been able to significantly improve the product features of the backpack for the benefit of the customer. Additive manufacturing will significantly change the design and product development of outdoor equipment and sporting goods in the coming years. We see significant growth potential for 3D printing development and series production in these areas."
Andreas Tulaj, Vice President Sales Europe at Carbon, adds: "Carbon's integrated consumer materials, software and 3D printers accelerate the time-to-market of products at scale - from idea to production. Using Carbon's 'Idea-to-Production' platform, Jack Wolfskin has improved the performance of the '3D Aerorise 40' backpack and worked with OECHSLER to develop components that would not have been developed and brought to market so quickly using conventional manufacturing methods. When well-known brands like Jack Wolfskin turn to 3D printing, it's a strong sign that additive manufacturing continues to enable innovation."
Magdalen Hamel, Category Manager Equipment at Jack Wolfskin, adds: "Comfort, load control and ventilation are well-established challenges in backpack design. The technology introduced in our Aerorise backpacks has only recently become available and is groundbreaking for the industry. The design is truly impressive from a technical perspective and reinforces our belief that collectively with our partners we can make a remarkable difference and take the industry a step forward."
Successful implementation of large-scale production
With the series production of the back padding for the "Aerorise" backpack series, OECHSLER once again demonstrates its expertise in polymer-based additive manufacturing and proves its ability to industrialize projects globally and manufacture them in large series.
The successful implementation of the large-scale production project with machines from 3D printing pioneer Carbon once again highlights the versatility and scalability of Carbon's technology package - consisting of the innovative DLS printing process, the provision of state-of-the-art hardware and high-quality synthetic resin. Furthermore, OECHSLER's great expertise in the pre- and post-processing of products is decisive for high efficiency in series production. Post-processing steps such as heat treatment give the 3D-printed components their defined mechanical properties.
OECHSLER and Carbon deliver innovations
Additive manufacturing is one of the fastest growing manufacturing technologies that has already convinced many industries thanks to its flexibility. In the sporting goods sector, OECHSLER and industry pioneer Carbon have already implemented numerous prestigious projects such as the series production of bicycle saddles or damping elements for American football helmets. The successful development and additive series production of back pads for Jack Wolfskin at the Brodswinden site is another chapter in the joint success story of Carbon and OECHSLER since the beginning of their partnership in 2016.
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