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How DLP Printing helps ECCO and Ghost Robotics produce intricate components with easy iteration

By <a href="https://mfg.trimech.com/author/stratasys-inc/" target="_self">Stratasys Inc</a>

By Stratasys Inc

Posted on May 23, 2024

Production pros in the manufacturing industry have faced challenges for complex designs that require frequent update. Digital light processing (DLP) printing is emerging as an increasingly prevalent solution to these issues.

ECCO, known for its craftsmanship and eco-friendly footwear, and Ghost Robotics, delivering next-generation mobile robots, are leveraging DLP printers for faster and cost-effective tooling and mold, as well as producing complex parts that are nearly impossible to achieve with traditional manufacturing.

Origin-One-Mid-Sole-Print

Origin One DLP 3D Printer

ECCO: Achieve Agility for Shoemaking with DLP 3D Printing

ECCO has always been a pioneer in the industry, pushing the boundaries in footwear. They set themselves apart not just through design, but also by revolutionizing the shoemaking process and taking control in every aspect, from last and mold creation to leather tanning and retail.

In the past, shoe production required creating multiple molds for distinct sizes and designs, which led to expensive tooling and lengthy lead times. To overcome this obstacle, ECCO turned to 3D printing technology. After thorough analysis and rigorous testing, they discovered that the Stratasys Origin One DLP 3D printer stand out as the best option.

ECCO Footwear Mold using DLP 3D Printing

ECCO Footwear Mold using DLP 3D Printing

Origin One is an industrial photopolymer 3D printer that can produce end-use parts and manufacturing-grade prototypes with the level of accuracy, consistency, and long-lasting dimensional stability equal to injection molding quality. The evolution of DLP printing technology powers the Origin One.

During the tests, the molds and lasts produced by the Origin One proved to be incredibly durable, lasting through countless tests without any signs of wear. Even more impressive, the shoes produced with these 3D-printed molds were indistinguishable from those made with conventional aluminum molds.

The DLP 3D printer allows ECCO to create the shoe last within 24 hours and mold insert overnight. This significantly reduce the time and cost for design and production, offering flexibility in the fast-paced fashion sector, and minimizing waste for a brand known for its commitment to sustainability.

Ghost Robotics: Retain Flexibility for Producing Durable and Complex Parts

Ghost Robotics has been actively reinventing robotics for its commercial and military partners with ever changing demands. Its autonomous four-legged robots are well known for their stability and adaptability across a variety of terrains.

With conventional methods like injection molding and CNC machines, the team struggled to be flexible in sending out its robot parts to customers while iterating based on their feedback. Ghost Robotics were eager to find a solution that could support mechanical strength and durability, exquisite surface finishes, and cost-effectiveness.

They then discovered the Stratasys’s Origin One, which could be complemented with materials from Henkel, a leading provider of high-performance materials. With DLP technology, the Origin One can not only handle a range of materials, but also delivers flawless surface finish, high precision, and complex geometries.

Ghost Robotics parts using DLP Printing

Ghost Robotics parts using DLP Printing

Ghost Robotics procured nine parts per robot, including 3D-printed legs, soft toes, and side panels produced by the Origin One. The adoption of the DLP printer allows the team to keep it original design produced by traditional CNC machines while quickly transition to 3D printed parts. It reduces the cost by 80%, enables the fast iterations of parts design, while ensuring the lightweight intricate parts to be long-lasting.

“Now, we can comfortably ship the number of units we have on order, without worrying about immediately tooling something up. The parts are rugged and robust and look great, like a finished product,” said Gavin Kenneally, mechanical engineer at Ghost Robotics.

DLP Printing Reshapes Manufacturing

The adoption of the Origin One is a game-changer both for ECCO and Ghost Robotics, helping them reshape the production process. With the DLP printer, ECCO and GHOST Robotics not only break through previously unthinkable barriers but also showcase the potential opportunities that 3D Printing could unlock across multiple industries.

Article by <a href="https://mfg.trimech.com/author/stratasys-inc/" target="_self">Stratasys Inc</a>

Article by Stratasys Inc

Stratasys is pioneering 3D printing for over 35 years. With game-changing production-ready technologies include PolyJet, FDM, SL, P3, and SAF, along with the largest collection of in-house printing materials available worldwide driven by advanced software solutions.