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    How does the BOA automatic lacing system and 3D printing that no longer need to tie shoelaces produce sparks?


    Everyone must not be able to avoid tying shoelaces in daily contact. Sometimes there are some round-shaped shoelaces that are easy to unravel, making people irritable. But BOA Fit Systems solved this spell.

    What is BOA® Fit System? ‍

    Traditionally, shoelaces are used to fix shoes and feet. A new type of fast tie technology allows the wearer to easily complete the lace and untie process. This system is called BOA® Fit System, or BOA lacing system. It uses steel wire instead of traditional shoelaces, and a round knob is used to adjust and control the tightness. It can be easily fixed and adjusted with one hand, and it can be easily operated even when wearing gloves. It can be fine-tuned under wet and changeable conditions and maintain stable control. It also provides convenient maintenance performance. This system can be applied to almost all kinds of footwear, completely replacing traditional laces.

    BOA Fit Systems is used by brands in various industries, and they cooperate with BOA to give users the best experience. In the past ten years, BOA fit System has been applied to various trail running shoes, trekking shoes and hiking shoes. With its rapid expansion in sports, outdoor and fitness markets, it has gradually proven its application in outdoor product lines. success.

    Challenge

    Quick realization: For complex mechanical parts, make the parts qualified as soon as possible in the test.

    Solution:

    3D Systems' Figure 4 Standalone printer and PRO-BLK 10 material are used for strong and delicate parts.

    Achievement:

    The design verification time is shortened from three weeks to the same day;

    The durable PRO-BLK 10 material can be sewn directly onto the shoes for testing;

    Through continuous comparison between the prototype and production parts in Figure 4, the performance of the final part can be better predicted. ‍

    Whether they realize it or not, in the Tour de France, when they are racing on the field, more than half of the riders rely on the BOA® Fit System. BOA runs through work clothes, medical support, and sports such as golf, because each of them integrates BOA’s proprietary three main component lacing systems into high-performance products to ensure that staff and athletes are in good condition.

    Looking for functional 3D printing materials‍

    One of the main components of BOA Fit Systems is the knob. The knobs are designed to have three different power levels, depending on the lace tension achieved by the gears they install. This includes high-power snowboard knobs with high-torque gear reduction, successfully launched by BOA 2001. Daniel Sheawood is a senior design engineer at BOA, and he spends a lot of time on mechanical design for these products.

    BOA has been using 3D printing prototypes for several years, but Sheawood said it is difficult to match BOA applications with the material properties they need. Because BOA's products are small and mechanical properties are the most important, many 3D printing materials can only help BOA conduct proof of concept and aesthetic considerations.

    BOA uses the Figure 4 printer to gain early insights into the performance of production parts

    "We are really bound by the material. We printed a conceptual model, but after three days, if the model accidentally falls off the table in the meeting, then it will become fragments." Sheawood mentioned BOA printing The parts will become brittle over time.

    Although BOA’s workflow still includes the foreseeable future of small batches of pre-production injection molded parts, the company wants to shorten the gap between the durability of 3D printed parts and the final injection molded parts so that they can start manufacturing molds Advance the design process faster, farther and more confidently. After investigation, BOA introduced Figure 4 technology and materials from 3D Systems.

    Advancing the test further with the Figure 4 printer

    Figure 4 meets the requirements of BOA resolution while meeting thermoplastic properties

    Figure 4 is the use of non-contact continuous digital projection printing technology, high-quality resin materials and modular and scalable manufacturing solutions based on UV light curing process, of which the UV light curing process only takes a few minutes.

    With the Figure 4 Standalone equipment of 3D Systems, BOA can gain early insight into the performance of production-level components. Instead of spending three weeks waiting for machined parts, BOA can evaluate design feasibility through printed parts in the afternoon.

    BOA particularly favors the Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 material. Unlike other materials that BOA has tried in the past, this high-precision, production-grade material has long-term environmental stability and thermoplasticity. The actual use of materials can meet the needs of BOA. They are conducting related tests between the final production parts and the parts printed in Figure 4, in order to understand the threshold performance requirements of the parts before entering mass production. Heawood mentioned that the performance of printed parts is the same as injection molded parts when used.

    In the process of product development, BOA likes to use prototypes that can be practical. Early in the design process, let others wear shoes so that testers can interact with them. Even for those designs that will not go on to the final production, attaching the knobs to the shoes, through daily overuse, helps BOA collect design and performance data to show what is feasible and what is not.

    This test requires the knob to be sewn directly on the fabric without molded holes. Sheawood said it is very difficult to find conventional plastics that can be sewn, let alone find a UV-curable material that does not crack.

    "It is difficult to penetrate a needle through plastic without causing damage. You need a flexible material, but still maintain sufficient stiffness to perform its other uses." Figure 4 BLK 10 has both Material properties, which is an important help for BOA, save time and money, and iterate its design quickly to obtain the highest performance.

    BOA sewed the parts printed in Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 onto the shoes for testing

    In addition to the lacing system, BOA is also known for its lifetime warranty. Product quality is of the utmost importance. Functional printed parts help Heywood and BOA's team of engineers to develop innovative products with a faster design cycle, and avoid redesigning parts after manufacturing tools. "Everyone is working hard to shrink and optimize their products, which makes it crucial to identify weak points early in the design process to avoid problems when the mold has been created."

    BOA also uses Figure 4 TOUGH-GRY 15 material (a durable gray material) and Figure 4 ELAST-BLK 10 material (an elastic material). In addition to making small mechanical parts in the lace knob system, BOA also uses the Figure 4 Standalone printing concept, end-use fixtures and models of rubber handle molds.

    Figure4 TOUGH-GRY 15

    Figure 4 ELAST-BLK 10

    You are welcome to communicate with the experts of 3D Systems to understand how 3D printers can be used in all aspects you can't think of to help you improve your process under the new wave of technology.

    About 3D Systems

    3D Systems provides comprehensive 3D products and services, including 3D printers, printing materials, cloud computing on-demand custom parts and digital design tools. The company's ecosystem covers advanced applications from product design to factory floors. 3D Systems' precise medical solutions include simulation, virtual surgery planning, medical and dental equipment, and printing of surgical instruments customized for patients. 3D Systems has spent 30 years helping professionals and companies optimize their designs, transform their work processes, bring innovative products to the market, and drive new business models.