Camper has taken a giant leap into the realm of 3D printing to enhance the creativity of its designers and engineers. The Spanish footwear multinational, with headquarters in Inca (Mallorca), has integrated additive manufacturing technology into the daily work lives of its experts. The company’s technical department has streamlined the creative processes of future collections by integrating desktop 3D printers from the Barcelona-born brand BCN3D.

Job Willemsen, Senior Designer at Camper, explains the useful benefits of BCN3D’s 3D printers for his creative work: “Working with a BCN3D printer is very useful because if we have an idea in mind, together with a technician, we can obtain quick and direct results for the dimensions of components. This enhances our ability to be reactive”.

The collections that Camper designs one year in advance have a certain geometric complexity, and designers need technology that is capable of reliably reproducing detailed models. That is why they have chosen BCN3D printers, more specifically the 3D Sigma and Sigmax printers. Most printed models use rigid materials, but many models are also printed with flexible material to obtain a prototype as close to the real thing as possible.

Jordi Guirado, Product Engineer at Camper, explains that “Because we have a dual-extruder system, we can use water-soluble print material. As a result, we can work with more complex geometric shapes and reduce design time for the collection”.

Before the integration of 3D printing, designers used to work in a 2D conceptual environment on their computer screens. With 3D printing, the company can really gain in quality. In Camper’s technical department, engineers develop, in 3D, the sketches created by designers. The very next day engineers are able to deliver a three-dimensional model, thus enhancing the power of creativity every day.

Xavier Martínez Faneca, CEO of BCN3D, affirms that “With various 3D printers on site, Camper’s designers now have new designs literally in the palms of their hands. This is a huge advantage for designers because they can now validate volumes, dimensions and geometric shapes that they could not visualise with a digital model. If designers can print a shoe model in 3D the next day, the design team has the ability to take their creative potential further. With collaboration, they can really achieve the product they are looking for. Before, design processes were much slower”.

High level of manufacturing

Thanks to 3D printing, engineers and designers can obtain printed components on fabric that require a high level of manufacturing complexity. These components are light, ergonomic, and in line with customer demands in terms of dimensions, shapes and weight.

3D printing significantly increases the number of creative possibilities when it comes to designing Camper’s footwear collections for men, women and children alike. Because mouldsare not needed to create shapes, extremely complex elements can be produced, which never could have been achieved before.

On a daily basis, Camper’s designers discuss the new shapes they seek for new designs with the technical department. They then receive the results the next day in the form of a three-dimensional printed model. Before the advent of printers, this was not possible and it would take weeks just for prototypes to come in. This work method makes team decision-making much quicker. As such, 3D printing exponentially improves product design and results.