First impressions.

When you can design and produce any shape, where do you start? With the Carbon platform, designers have much broader design freedom. But what do you do with it? We had the chance to sit down with the co-founders of Carbon Production Network (CPN) certified Partner General Lattice, CEO Nick Florek, COO Alex Rhoades, and Head of Design Marek Moffett, to discuss how lattice structuring is the future of digital product design. See how CPN partner General Lattice is working to usher in a new era of lattice-designed products that are reimagined from the ground up and powered by the Carbon platform.

Carbon: Can you provide an overview of General Lattice, what services you provide, and how you provide them?

Nick Florek, CEO: General Lattice is a computational design and digital manufacturing company that specializes in product customization and lattice structuring. As a Carbon Production Network (CPN) Partner, we push the current boundaries of what is manufacturable today by designing unmoldable geometries and producing them at scale with the Carbon Platform.

From day one, our core is about design. What people don’t realize is that additive technology has been so underutilized because while its end-use quality and scalable capabilities have skyrocketed, its design capabilities have significantly lagged behind. You cannot bring products to an additive platform without specifically designing for additive beforehand. And that’s where we come in: to bridge the gap between design and additive manufacturing at scale…to essentially fill this design void and then leverage the flexibility and scalability of digital manufacturing platforms like Carbon.

Lattice applications can span across a range of verticals from aerospace, to medical applications, to cushions, to hearing aids, to industrial applications in the workplace that can improve ergonomics…the list is only expanding. However, what’s unique about lattices is that they can come into play wherever human-use is a factor: for foam replacement, vibration dampening, impact resistance, lightweighting, or even improving the life/durability of a part. Our goal is to create customer-focused solutions by designing elastomer lattice structures that take into account the end-user experience from iteration #1, and to then use digital manufacturing as the means to scale this customized solution to production.

 

What prompted you to evaluate the Carbon platform for your business?

Alex Rhoades, COO: With our immense background in manufacturing and with design as our core driver, we wanted to commit to an end-to-end additive technology that’s optimized for lattice structuring. We had come across so many great additive technologies but couldn’t find one with materials fine-tuned for end-use lattice structuring–that is until we found Carbon. Carbon’s EPU 40 material paired with the ability to rapidly iterate and scale end-use parts proved to be an optimal match for our lattice structuring and product customization efforts.

Nick Florek, CEO: And while the technology + material fit was obviously crucial, we equally wanted to find a partner that would support us past the point of purchase and into the business development sector. With Carbon’s top partnerships being focused around lattice innovations–the adidas midsole and more recently the Riddell helmet liner–we recognized that Carbon has been in full support of lattice innovations from day one. It became clear that Carbon is highly invested in bringing lattice applications to the additive space and to their production partners, so we immediately felt like this production partnership was a great fit.

 

How has your transformation journey with Carbon’s technology progressed?

Alex Rhoades, COO: Since we started talking with Carbon, they have been very friendly in regards to education, production support and optimization, as well as sales and marketing training for new players in the additive space. We were blown away by their efforts to get us up to speed with the learning curve so that we could get certified and start independently manufacturing top quality parts in no time. In addition to this, their training and technical support for their production partners is unparalleled. When trouble is encountered, whether it be a user error or a technical malfunction, customer service is very quick and responsive to fix it, helping us maintain our operations and actually maximize machine uptime. We’ve experienced first hand that the Carbon Production Network is there to help us succeed. We’re excited to further explore its other areas of support including its sales and marketing collaborations that we will be tapping into as we continue to grow our brand.

 

What is your vision for the future as a Carbon production partner?

Nick Florek, CEO: Through promoting the broader category of product customization + lattice structuring and using the Carbon platform to power our innovations, we aim to help companies push the current boundaries of what is manufacturable today. Where we will make the most impact is producing unmoldable lattices designed for the end-user and scaling those solutions using the Carbon digital manufacturing platform. We’re excited to be partnered with Carbon so we can make these traditionally impossible geometries a reality!

 

Interested in learning more about General Lattice production solutions, built with the Carbon Platform? Reach out to info@GeneralLattice.com to get connected. In the meantime, get the latest updates on Carbon powered lattice innovations by following @Carbon and subscribing to our blog below!