Speedo Utilizing 3D Printing to Outpace Design Competition
International swim gear powerhouse Speedo has integrated 3D printing into its product development processes, drastically reducing time to market and spurring innovation, which is essential for a company synonymous with quickness.
A recent blog post from Stratasys includes a video on the Speedo story.
After purchasing a Stratasys Objet350 Connex 3D Printer from UK Stratasys reseller SYS Systems earlier this decade, Speedo has consistently used its in-house 3D printing capabilities to prototype and validate designs early on before moving into production. A variety of hard goods, from goggles to training aids to swimsuits, have been iteratively tested, refined, and produced through Speedo’s 3D printing-centric design process.
Before utilizing 3D printing, Speedo team members say that the product development process would take weeks to months, and relied primarily on “a maximum of two hand-tooled samples before going into large-scale production.”
With 3D printing, Speedo can now simulate and test many different materials by using various PolyJet resins. For goggles, transparent, rigid materials like VeroClear can simulate lenses, and materials from the Tango family, with rubber-like flexibility and texture, simulate production silicone for the head strap. Multi-material 3D printing allows for these designs to capture the detail and complexity of the final product.
As Chris Johnson, a design manager for hard goods at Speedo, explains, “[3D printing] allows us to de-risk; by doing these additional iterations we end up with a better product. It’s opened up new avenues, new opportunities because the 3D printer it now at the heart of the process.”
To start a conversation about your project or discuss a quote for some of the prototyping and production services used by Speedo and other similar companies, send FATHOM a request for quote. As an authorized partner of Stratasys, FATHOM proudly carries the Objet 350 Connex3 and other similar 3D printers. Check out full 3D printing system offerings at the FATHOM 3D printer page.