New Balance, the Boston-based footwear manufacturer, worked with Massachusetts-based 3D printing experts, Formlabs to launch a new platform called TripleCell.
“TripleCell will deliver the industry’s pinnacle expression of data to design with seamless transitions between variable properties underfoot… This new, cutting edge, digitally manufactured technology is now scaling exclusively within New Balance factories in the U.S. further establishing us as a leader in 3D printing and domestic manufacturing,” said Katherine Petrecca, New Balance General Manager, Innovation Design Studio.
The technology goes beyond traditional prototyping. TripleCall is able to reduce the weight of a sneaker’s sole. The sole will be available on the bottom of two shoe releases, the 990 Sport, launched on June 28th costing $185, and the Fuelcell Echo, to be launched on September 15th costing $175.
New Balanced decided to launch the TripleCell platform with the 990 Sport as it shows how this classic shoe design can benefit from the technology by providing a sole which is 10% lighter than the company’s 990v5 shoe.
Triplecell Reduces Time, Costs, and Weight
New Balance and Formlabs have been collaborating since 2017 when the two companies announced an exclusive partnership. Since then, they have been working on hardware, manufacturing processes, and materials for footwear.
One particular development is a new proprietary photopolymer resin called Rebound Resin which creates resilient, lattice structures which are springy, durable, and reliable.
“Formlabs has been an integral partner to bring this to life. We’re really going to be able to disrupt the industry not only in performance but also in athlete customization and speed to market,” Petrecca adds.
Benefits of Triplecell are that it eliminates the need for molds and enables teams to speed up every aspect of the process from design to production.
“3D printing is changing how companies approach manufacturing; with this announcement New Balance is pioneering localized manufacturing… We’re moving towards a world where design cycles are closing in on the whim of the consumer and it’s exciting to be on the frontlines of this with New Balance,” said Dávid Lakatos, Chief Product Officer of Formlabs.