3DP Applications

Samsonite Innovation Enabled by 3D Printing

Recognized global brand Samsonite continues to stay ahead of the curve in the development and production of superior luggage and travel accessories for the consumer market. The design team is always seeking to perfect its new products and for its latest line of suitcases, sought the assistance of Materialise. With the help of a highly detailed prototype, Materialise was able to support the Samsonite team and ensure they could bring their latest innovation to market successfully and on time.

samsonite_mammothSamsonite has built a strong, market leading reputation over the past 100 years  and is always looking to build and improve its standing. The Samsonite European design team’s most recent project has been the development of the “S’Cure” line of suitcases, which features textured shells and a revolutionary lightweight, yet durable material. 69 and 75 cm versions of this line have been successfully launched, however, when Samonsite was preparing for an important trade show the sales team also required a 55 cm version of the suitcase to complete the S’Cure line-up.  Without sufficient time for the injection moulding technique needed to produce the texture required, the team struggled with how to create a high-quality, functional prototype of the 55 cm case.

samsoniteThe Samsonite team presented their challenge to Materialise engineers, having worked with them on previous projects.  After receiving a bitmap from the Samsonite team, and making use of Materialise’s 3-matic software, Materialise engineers began by conducting a series of tests to establish if advanced 3D printing technology could meet Samsonite’s critical demands. Specifically, they were testing to see if the correct detail levels could be produced; the texture on the shell of the case could be applied without any secondary or manual processes; and the texture would remain uniform, even through all of the curves and angles of the suitcase.

The results were positive and Materialise engineers used a combination of advanced 3D printing processes — stereolithography and laser sintering — to produce a complete suitcase that was fully functional and closely resembled  the final product. This included the textured case, as well as functional latches, handles and wheels. The project was completed in eight working days and exceeded Samsonite’s tight deadline.

The 55 cm S’Cure prototype was extremely well received by both the Samsonite sales force and attendees at the trade fair.  As a result, mass production is imminent, followed by the product’s launch across Europe.

Source and Images courtesy of Materialise.