Developing tangible models in-house through 3D printing has significantly accelerated the process of launching a new collection for shoe company Camper while yielding considerable cost savings along the way.
With sales of up to 4 million pairs a year, Camper is one of Spain’s most successful shoe companies, well known for its innovative designs and comfort of its products. At their headquarters in Inca, Mallorca, the company’s technical department has streamlined its process of developing new collections by integrating desktop 3D printers. In-house 3D printing has significantly sped up their iterative design process, allowing for more creative freedom and accelerating their workflow while keeping costs under control.
The design team at Camper works with a 3-month deadline to create each new collection. With this time constraint, they needed a fast, cost-efficient solution that would allow them to test and iterate multiple times, all while maintaining the highest quality standards, in order to find the best possible combination of design and ergonomy for each pair of shoes in line with their customer’s demands.
Before the company started working with in-house 3D printing, they were outsourcing the production of physical models. This process was slow and expensive, taking up to two weeks to receive a prototype. As a result, iteration was reduced to the minimum and most of the work was being done through 2D digital designs limited to a screen.
Widening creative horizons through 3D printing
The incorporation of several BCN3D Sigma and Sigmax 3D printers meant a total revolution and streamlining of Camper’s process: now designers can discuss which new shapes and details they are considering with the engineers in the technical department, who then convert these ideas into printable models within 24 hours.
As Job Willemsen, Senior Designer at Camper, explains: “Working with BCN3D printers is very useful because if we have an idea in mind, together with a technician, we can obtain quick and direct results for the dimensions of components. This enhances our ability to be reactive”.
With various 3D printers on-site, at Camper they now have new designs in the palm of their hands – literally! They can now validate volumes, dimensions, and geometric shapes that they could not visualize with a digital model. This is a huge advantage for designers. If designers can print a shoe model in 3D the next day, the whole team has the ability to take their creative potential further.
The ease of iteration provided by additive manufacturing directly affects the work of the designers, who feel more at ease to take more chances and be more adventurous. 3D printing significantly increases the number of creative possibilities when it comes to designing Camper’s footwear collections for men, women, and children alike.
Achieving complex geometric shapes with dual extrusion
The collections, which Camper designs around a year in advance, are geometrically complex, so designers need a technology capable of reliably reproducing each model to every last detail. That is why they have chosen BCN3D printers, more specifically the Sigma and Sigmax. In the words of Jordi Guirado, Product Engineer at Camper, “because of the dual-extruder system, we can use water-soluble print material. As a result, we can work with more complex geometric shapes and reduce design time for the whole collection”. The large printing surface of the Sigmax ensures enough room to fit all parts manufactured at the plant so that creativity is never constrained by space.
In-house 3D printing can revolutionize the way companies develop and produce parts and prototypes. For Camper, this technology has meant a boost to their creative possibilities and a significant acceleration of new product development. Moreover, it is a cost-efficient solution for their iterative design process. Like them, designers and engineers around the world work smarter and innovate faster with BCN3D printers on their desktop or workbench. You can too, by learning more about our products.