Carbon has announced the launch of the L1 Digital Light Synthesis system. The L1 is available as a limited release as part of Carbon High-Volume Solutions, built to launch industry-transforming products to high volume immediately.
The L1 is said to provide 10x the build area of Carbon's first printer, the M1, and five times the M2 (189 x 118 x 326 mm). That makes it better suited to both larger size parts as well as for printing many parts simultaneously at scale.
Currently the L1 Digital Light Synthesis system is already in the hands of Adidas and Riddell. Adidas has been using the new machines to help produce 100,000 pairs of the Futurecraft 4D midsoles in 2018, and plans to scale the production of the Futurecraft 4D shoes to millions in the coming years. Meanwhile, new customer Riddell is using it to 3D print customised helmet liners within its SpeedFlex Precision Diamond helmet model, used by select NFL players in the 2018 season. The customised helmets will be commercially available on a limited basis at the 'elite level' starting in 2019.
Riddell Speedflex Precision Diamond Helmet with custom 3D printed liner.
In Riddell’s application of the L1 platform, the two companies have partnered to 3D print customized helmet liner precisely contoured to the athlete’s head. Powered by Carbon, Riddell’s new Diamond helmet platform features a 3D printed lattice liner that is digitally manufactured using Carbon’s proprietary Digital Light Synthesis (DLS) technology.
The core technology uses a custom designed, highly damping elastomer from Carbon, in the form of a lattice structure to create the helmet liner. The Carbon Lattice Engine leverages physical simulation and optimization techniques to tune structures to further manage both linear and rotational impact energies. Each helmet is made up of more than 140,000 individual struts, carefully orchestrated into patterns for attenuating impact forces while providing excellent comfort and fit. The result is a Carbon DLS-printed, custom fit, impact absorbing helmet liner designed to advance the state-of-the-art in head protection. The research behind the design includes more than 5 million on-field collisions collected by Riddell’s smart helmet technology.
“Riddell is known for head protection leadership. Our partnership with Carbon reinforces our commitment to advancing on-field protection for football players,” offered That Ide, Riddell Senior Vice President of Research and Product Development. “As the first to use digital manufacturing in football helmets, Riddell continues our industry leadership by embracing promising new technologies and advancing our innovation roadmap today and into the future.”
“As someone who’s spent thousands of hours watching film, I know that no two players play the same,” added Peyton Manning, Riddell Strategic Advisor and Brand Ambassador, and two-time Superbowl winner. “They all have different styles and tendencies on the field, which is another key benefit to Riddell’s Diamond technology. With the SpeedFlex Precision Diamond, players are not only experiencing the latest in head protection, they can also dictate where the helmet is positioned to improve sightlines and maximise field vision.”
Riddell SpeedFlex Precision Diamond helmets were used by select players on most NFL teams during the 2018 season and will be commercially available on a limited basis at the elite level starting in 2019.
Meanwhile, Carbon expects to have 1,000 of its 3D printers installed by the end of this year. Carbon hasn't disclosed pricing for the new L1, but the company will offer them on a subscription basis, along with its software and cloud service, with the M2 running at $50,000 per year.