Flawless Prints, Every Time
Leading the Future of Performance Products With Customized Manufacturing
Learn how Formlabs armed New Balance with the completely new 3D printing material and production system they needed to launch TripleCell, a new platform that’s poised to deliver the true on-demand performance customization that today’s consumers crave.
The modern consumer demands custom products that can be ordered from anywhere, from a variety of devices, and quickly delivered. On digital platforms, customization is everywhere. Physical products, constrained by the rigidity of traditional manufacturing, haven’t caught up.
The Freedom to Design and Manufacture High-Performance Custom Products
3D printing offers the freedom to affordably produce complex, customized structures. New Balance understood this potential, but needed a way to move the technology from prototyping into production at scale—and find a material suitable for end-use in footwear.
New Balance needed a 3D printing material that would withstand the necessary manufacturing and end-use applications, plus offer performance beyond what’s possible with foam—but it didn’t exist.
The Formlabs materials team collaborated with the company to develop a completely new material from the ground up. The result is Rebound Resin. Designed to create springy, resilient lattice structures, Rebound Resin has a much higher energy return, tear strength, and elongation than any other Formlabs stereolithography (SLA) resin.
A Material Made for the Future
The FuelCell Echo Triple moves Rebound Resin to the forefoot, utilizing the unique lattice structure to boost performance during athletic activity. “One of the things that’s really exciting for us is that it provides a very different experience for the runner,” says Katherine Petrecca, general manager of New Balance’s Innovation Design Studio.
“The world is changing. People want custom things made just for them that have higher performance and that can ship overnight.”
Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer, Formlabs
A New Production System for a New Kind of Product
Following a robust R&D program iterating through hundreds of exploratory material formulations to create Rebound Resin, Formlabs worked closely with New Balance to develop a production system to bring TripleCell to life and fully realize the benefits of the new 3D printing material.
The Formlabs consulting team collaborated closely with New Balance from beginning to end to create a seamless production workflow, from custom software features to on-site support, dedicated supply chain, and more:
A Foundation for the Future of Limitless, On-Demand Customization
TripleCell technology is now scaling exclusively within New Balance factories in the US. Next year, New Balance plans to scale up production to over 10,000 pairs per year of TripleCell products. Moving forward, TripleCell provides the foundation for leveraging unique athlete data and performance insights to create custom footwear in limitless combinations and produce it on demand, reducing development timelines and condensing delivery from concept to consumer.
“TripleCell is really on the leading edge of bringing New Balance domestic manufacturing into the digital age.”
Katy O’Brien, Engineering Manager, New Balance Manufacturing Innovation