The manufacturer of outdoor equipment Jack Wolfskin introduced a new backpack for hiking, 3D Prelight Rise Backpack, featuring a 3D printed pad called Aerorise 

The 35-liter pack stands out for its departure from traditional foam construction, using fine-grained 3D-printed plastic for its support panels. Jack Wolfskin highlighted the unique attributes of the 3D printed design, creating an open cellular structure that is both strong and able to effectively support weight while conforming to individual torso shapes. The result of a collaboration involving plastic technology specialist Oechsler and 3D printing company Carbon, the backpack offers improved comfort and improved air circulation during long treks.

The 3D Prelight Rise backpack will appear in stores and online platforms of Jack Wolfskin in February/March, providing outdoor enthusiasts with an option that combines technology, sustainability and comfort for their hiking adventures.

The 3D printing process is said to be very sustainable as almost no material is wasted in production. (Photo via Jack Wolfskin).

Environmental comfort

Highlighted by its sustainability, the 3D printing process used in the production of the backpack minimizes material waste, unlike conventional methods. This resonates with the prevailing trend in the outdoor industry, where brands are progressively delving into 3D technology to create products that not only improve performance, but also demonstrate an increased commitment to environmental considerations.

Already in 2022. Jack Wolfskin has partnered with Carbon and Oechsler to improve its hiking backpacks by integrating additive manufacturing. By applying the 3D Aerorise Carry System, featuring four panels produced with 3D printing technology, the backpack achieves a lightweight, multi-zone fit to the body, resulting in an exceptional reduction in back temperatures of up to 5°C.

Made from 100% recycled polyamide, the system uses 3D printing to not only minimize waste but also enhance customization. The incorporation of unique grid patterns further contributed to improved comfort and more efficient distribution of the load carried by the backpack.

Winning accolades for his innovative methods, Jack Wolfskin won awards including the 2022 Red Dot Design Award. Aerorise technology has since undergone further optimization, resulting in increased comfort and a more personalized fit to the user's back. This continuous improvement underscores the brand's commitment to continuously improve its product offerings.

The Prelight Rise 3D backpack uses a lining created with a 3D printer. (Photo via Jack Wolfskin).

How 3D printing is transforming the consumer experience

3D printing technology is increasingly used in the production of consumer goods, presenting a range of opportunities and challenges. One such example includes Asia's first fully 3D-printed titanium alloy bicycle frame, developed by bicycle brand Titan Super Bond, in partnership with Bright Laser Technologies (BLT). Using the BLT-A320 machine, the lightweight frame offers high strength, corrosion resistance and durability. 

Addressing the challenges of manufacturing high-end bicycle parts, the collaboration integrates BLT's laser powder bed fusion (LPBF) technology. The 3D printed parts passed ISO 4210 dynamic fatigue strength tests, confirming their quality and durability.

Some time ago, sportswear manufacturer Asics and AM solutions provider LuxCreo released the second generation ACTIBREEZE HYBRID SANDAL , a 3D printed "performance sandal" designed for runners' rest and recovery periods. 

Using LuxCreo's additive manufacturing technology, the sandal features a 3D-printed elastic footbed with an extra-thick lattice structure, offering advanced breathability, comfort and a lightweight design. Priced at $80, it follows the successful launch of the first generation 3D printed ACTIBREEZE sandal in 2022.

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