Tuesday, Mar 16, 2010 5:00 AM

BURLINGTON, Mass., USA - Z Corporation helped its customer The Timberland Company win a Progressive Manufacturing 100 Award from Managing Automation magazine for its use of 3D printing to streamline design while saving time and money.

The Timberland Company is using Z Corporation's 3D printing technology to help solidify its position as the vanguard of outdoor-inspired footwear. Quickly and easily creating its own physical foot and shoe prototypes has helped Timberland reduce its development time by 33 percent and its 'last' production time by 92 percent, according to Toby Ringdahl, CAD manager in the company's global footwear product development division.

Winners of the award reflect "amazing creativity and determination alive today in the manufacturing community," said David R. Brousell, editor-in-chief of the magazine. "These companies are taking bold steps to rethink their business models and processes, their relationships with customers and partners, and to create new advantages for themselves in business speed and value. In doing so, they are positioning their organizations for greater success now and in the years ahead."

Timberland's ZPrinter® 650 produces multicolor 3D models used in refining design concepts. Increasingly prevalent in the product development process, 3D printers produce tangible physical models from computer-aided design files much as document printers produce business letters from word-processing files.

"We used to hire an artisan or service provider to make our models, and it typically took two weeks to receive the finished goods," said Ringdahl. "Now we simply press ‘print,' remove our models from the ZPrinter, and continue to move our product concepts to market. Every time we print, we shorten the development cycle and help get new styles to consumers while they're hot. That's typically six months earlier than if we still outsourced our models, and at a fraction of the cost."

About Z Corporation

Z Corporation makes products that enable users to capture, edit, and print 3D data with unprecedented speed, ease, versatility and affordability. These products include the world's fastest high-definition 3D printers — machines that produce physical 3D models from digital data in multiple colors - and uniquely portable 3D scanners - handheld machines that digitize 3D surfaces in real time. Z Corp. technology is enabling a wide range of applications in manufacturing, architecture, civil engineering, reverse engineering, geographic information systems (GIS), medicine and entertainment.

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