The Samsonite design team is on a mission: to perfect luggage and create the best bags and travel accessories the world has ever seen. In their efforts to launch a new line of suitcases, the team 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.
Completing an Innovative Line
Created over 100 years ago, the Samsonite brand is known for its innovative bags and luggage that address consumer needs and set industry trends. In their quest to uphold the Samsonite reputation, the company’s European design team developed the “S’Cure” line of suitcases, which features textured shells and a revolutionary lightweight, yet durable, material. As first steps in bringing the new line to market, the team launched the 69 and 75 cm versions. However, with an important trade show fast approaching, they also required a 55 cm version to complete the S’Cure line-up. Without sufficient time for the injection molding technique needed to produce textured suitcases, the team struggled with how to create a high-quality, functional prototype of the 55 cm case, that was so close to the final product that it could be used for display and commercial selling.
Creating a Detailed, Textured Prototype in 8 Days
As the Samsonite team had already worked with Materialise on a number of different projects, they presented their challenge to Materialise engineers. 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. Ultimately, these tests confirmed that:
- the correct detail levels could be achieved,
- the texture on the shell of the case could be applied without the help of any secondary or manual processes, and
- the texture would remain uniform, even through all of the curves and angles of the suitcase.
And, in the end, to ensure that the prototype would work like the final product, Materialise engineers used a mixture of Additive Manufacturing technologies, (stereolithography and laser sintering), to produce a complete suitcase. This included the textured case, as well as functional latches, handles, and wheels. The support structure of the Stereolithography parts were created with Materialise e-Stage software. In only eight working days, from the start of production, a completely assembled prototype was delivered to the Samsonite team.
Available for Purchase
The 55 cm S’Cure prototype was enthusiastically received by both the Samsonite sales force as well as the trade fair attendees. And, as has already occurred with the 69 and 75 cm versions, the 55 cm case is mass produced and launched across Europe.
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