So far, the only production of saddles that is currently achieved using 3D printing is the one of Specialized®.
LuxCreo’s mission is to simplify and enable more sustainable production with additive manufacturing and digital 3D production. At the heart of this mission, there is a LuxCreo Smart Factory that helps to overcome supply chain challenges and accelerate development times.
“We could not get full saddles manufactured for at least 18 months,” said Kevin Bailey, bike fitting specialist and owner of 3D Bike Fit and partner at Form Cycling. “With LuxCreo Smart Factory we are 3D printing the saddle padding locally, testing it in the field, making design adjustments, and reprinting it all within days.”
Form Cycling designs their saddles leveraging years of experience bike fitting cyclists with advanced systems at 3D Bike Fit, well known in Silicon Valley, with a deep understanding of the human body and biomechanics.
“With 3D printing, we can easily design and make a bike saddle that targets specific pressure zones by changing the density or structure of the material – that you cannot do with foam,” said Ernesto Calderin, partner at Form Cycling.
Recent advancements in 3D printable elastic resins are further enhancing product performance. Form Cycling is 3D printing complex structures with LuxCreo’s high performing elastic resin for a saddle with better shock absorption.
“When I went off-roading, the 3D printed saddle absorbed shock better,” said Cesar Correa, senior bike fitting specialist at 3D Bike Fit and partner at Form Cycling. “With foam saddles, it compresses and stays, whereas the 3D printed saddle continues to absorb the shocks – sustaining the high performance and providing a more comfortable ride.”
For Form Cycling, the future of 3D printing is customization of saddles for each cyclist. As shortages continue to affect many industries, 3D printing Smart Factories will become essential to address demand and mitigate supply chain disruptions.
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