Revolutionizing the cycling saddle with the Stratasys H350

Learn how SAF technology helps DQBD reduce costs and lead times

Award-winning German design company DQBD GmbH is leveraging the Stratasys H350 3D printer to produce fully personalised cycling saddles that offer a higher level of comfort and performance efficiency compared to regular versions. DQBD is additively manufacturing several of the saddle’s load-bearing parts at scale, saving thousands in costs and cutting lead times from months to just several days compared to traditional molding methods.

DQBD has established itself as a strong design and development partner for many major global brands. The H350 3D printer, powered by SAF technology, provides the company with the design flexibility and production quality it needed to realise its vision of a completely customised cycling saddle. It also delivers high repeatability at production scale while driving time and cost efficiencies.

Sebastian Hess, CEO at DQBD commented:

We had always planned for AM to play a pivotal role in the creation of SAM – our cycling saddle. In fact, we designed the saddle with additive manufacturing in mind. As well as delivering consistently accurate, production-grade parts at volume quickly and affordably, the technology offers a unique opportunity to personalise products in a way that cannot be replicated with traditional methods.

SAM – saddle additive manufacturing

Consisting of a semi-rigid, personalised 3D printed spine and a 3D thermoformed seat pad, the saddle is produced according to the individual rider’s unique requirements. Software mapping of pressure points and weight distribution is used to match the geometry of the saddle with the rider’s body to create the perfect fit, while the composition of rigid and flexible zones of the saddle’s spine offer support and adaption precisely where needed. This unique combination offers more flex than other performance orientated saddles, translating to a higher level of comfort and less rider fatigue.

Sebastian Hess continued…

We put the saddle through rigorous testing including impact strength, pressure, and fatigue resistance to ensure that it met industry standards and our own high expectations. The PA11 material on the H350 was a great fit for the additively manufactured parts as it offers us high ductility, high impact and high fatigue resistance which was essential for our design.

Sustainability was a key consideration in the design. The entire saddle assembly is glue-less, and at the end of the product’s life, components can easily be separated and reintroduced into production. The Stratasys High Yield PA11 material is a bio-based plastic made of a renewable raw material derived from sustainably grown castor oil.

Yann Rageul, Head of Manufacturing Business Unit EMEA & Asia at Stratasys adds:

We are seeing a definite trend in businesses’ readiness for volume production of end use parts. DQBD is showcasing how the H350 and its SAF technology can not only optimise the entire production process with valuable time and cost savings, but also shows the deployment of AM for truly unique and advanced designs – ready for production at scale. We are proud to see that the SAM saddle design DQBD created shows the advancements of additive manufacturing within the product development cycle – as the product concept was designed around AM from the start.