Black Diamond Equipment improves with Formlabs

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Black Diamond Equipment has employed the use of Form 4, Form 3L and the Fuse Series from Formlabs to decrease production time for their sports equipment manufacturing.

Black Diamond uses Formlabs 3D printers in the manufacturing process of helmets, ice tools, insoles and trekking poles.

The decision was made to replace SLS printing with resin printing using the Form 4, meaning that parts can be printed on the same day that they are requested.

Initially their designers were unsure if SLA resin could handle the extensive pressure that testing the equipment involves, but the Grey Resin V5 buttons on the trekking pole being tested lasted for over a million cycles with 35 pounds of pressure on each cycle.

Previously, Black Diamond used the Form 3L exclusively to print helmet prototypes, and expanded their use to include printing prototypes of ice tool grips and footwear midsoles.

Product design lab manager Matt Tetzl manages requests for resin and powder 3D printed parts using Formlabs’s online print system, Dashboard.

Multiple iterations can be printed in a single day, which is necessary for sports equipment that needs to be tested many times to ensure safety.


“It’s been plug and play. As soon as you get it connected to the network, it’s the familiar Formlabs ecosystem – upload parts, push a button, get your parts back,” said Tetzl.

A 3D printed ice tool grip printed with Formlabs Fuse 1+ 30W in Nylon 12 Powder survived an 80 foot drop at the 2023 Ice Climbing World Championships without any cracks or damage.

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