AUTOMOTIVE GLOBAL NEWS

Carbon and Specialized Unveil the First Digitally Printed Lattice Bike Saddle

Carbon, the world’s leading Digital Manufacturing Platform, announced that it has partnered with California-based bicycle manufacturer Specialized to produce the first digitally printed bike saddle – the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology. The new saddle, crafted using Carbon materials and complex lattice geometries, absorbs impact and improves stability, which can reduce the chance of injury for the rider and is designed to improve rider comfort and performance.

3D printed saddle
Above: The S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology/Image Credit: Carbon

Speaking about the partnership with Specialized, Dr. Joseph DeSimone, CEO and Co-Founder of Carbon said, “Carbon and Specialized share a mission to challenge the acceptable, create the extraordinary, and ultimately make products that enable people to push the limits of what’s possible,”.

“Our partnership with Specialized represents not only a breakthrough in bike saddle technology, but also our companies’ shared commitment to drive meaningful change by making products that improve human health and well-being,” adds DeSimone.

Offering detais of how Specialized has been revolutionising the biking experience of cyclists, Garrett Getter, Specialized Product Manager of Saddles said, “Specialized has a long history of improving the rider experience. We created our first Body Geometry saddle over 20 years ago to address serious issues impacting cyclists”.

“Together with Carbon, we are challenging the norms of the cycling world, from design to production time, to create technology that will allow riders to improve performance, increase comfort, and reduce the chance of injury and with Mirror technology, we’ve only scratched the surface of what’s possible,” added Getter.

One of the most important aspects of the riding experience for cyclists at all levels is the saddle. From its shape to its padding level, the bike saddle can be the difference between a bad ride or a great ride. In the past, bike saddle designers and manufacturers have faced persistent challenges to mitigate the pressure and discomfort such as health issues, including neuralgia (nerve pain), numbness, and urinary problems that cyclists at all levels often experience.

As a result, the challenge was in creating a saddle to maximize rider performance by providing comfort and stability. With this in mind, Carbon and Specialized are taking saddle innovation to the next level with the S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology.  

However, Carbon through its Carbon Digital Light Synthesis™ (DLS™) technology made it possible to develop a lattice design that enables the saddle to rebound quickly, giving riders the experience of having a ‘suspension’ for their sit bones. The saddle not only disperses pressure, but also significantly improves breathability. Ultimately, the new saddle will result in less pain and fewer injuries for riders, leading to better health and performance.

The S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology is the third production application in sporting goods, after adidas and Riddell, that Carbon has validated for its L1 Production Solution. Designed for immediate, high-volume production, the L1 Production Solution combines a printer with 10x the surface area of Carbon’s first generation printer. It also offers validated cleaning and curing tools that, together, provide a launchpad for a new breed of digitally designed and manufactured products. 

Equally impressive as the technology itself, Carbon DLS is helping to bring Mirror technology to market in record speed. Together, Carbon and Specialized were able to reduce the overall development process from the typical 18-24 month timeline to just 10 months, while still creating and testing over 70 designs in this short timeframe.

The use of Carbon technology reduced the overall design process from 6 to 2 months, with design iteration, which typically takes 2-3 weeks, taking only 1 day with Carbon. Broadly, Carbon DLS technology provides product teams with powerful capabilities to achieve vastly accelerated design and development timelines, enabling better products to go to market much faster than with other design and manufacturing approaches. The new S-Works Power Saddle with Mirror technology will be available in 2020.


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