- Closing the Gap Between Feedback and Design
- A Familiar Ecosystem, An Intuitive Workflow
For decades, Black Diamond Equipment has created innovative climbing, skiing, and mountain gear. Known for comfort, durability and performance, Black Diamond’s products go through a rigorous design, testing, and iteration process before they come to market.
Historically, this has meant that the company outsources the manufacturing of full-size prototypes — for everything from climbing helmets to emergency tools — as a way to give engineers and designers a chance to interact with potential products on a human scale during the design process. This helps create crowd-pleasing, high-performance products at launch, but it can also slow down innovation (and increase production costs) as the company waits for third parties to deliver full-size prototypes.
But recently, the development team at Black Diamond has brought full-size prototyping inhouse at a fraction of the cost of traditional manufacturing techniques, thanks to the Formlabs Form 3L large format 3D printer.
The company has incorporated 3D printing into their design workflow for years, using four Form 2 desktop 3D printers to create smaller prototypes or scaled-down models in-house. But fullscale prototypes were never an option because of the standard build volume of desktop 3D printers. However, when Black Diamond learned about the Form 3L — a stereolithography (SLA) 3D printer with a build volume that can handle human-scale prototyping — they sensed that they could bring a new kind of innovation in-house.
R&D Technician Matt Tetzl recently went hands on with the Form 3L, printing in both Grey Resin and Tough 2000 Resin, to see how the printer could handle full-size prototyping. Read on to hear why Black Diamond Equipment is looking to bring large-scale SLA 3D printing in-house, and how this will impact product development at the company.
Closing the Gap Between Feedback and Design
“The Form 3L makes the product design process more cohesive. Making tweaks in CAD and starting the printing process - it’s going to help us close the gap between feedback and design.”
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