myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Windsurfing Videos Buy and Sell Services
 
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Print your next board?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Windsurfing Discussion
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
gschuel1



Joined: 04 Apr 2005
Posts: 29
Location: Narragansett, RI

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 4:09 pm    Post subject: Print your next board? Reply with quote

This article was published in an engineering magazine. Automated board design and manufacturing based upon your personal sailing data and preferences. Could be the wave of the future!

www.madeboards.com



Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributing Writer
8/29/2013

As a surfer myself, I know that creating a custom-made surfboard is both a precise and creative science, as well as a painstaking laborious process that takes a lot of time and energy.

Now 3D printing is poised to take the actual handmade production aspect of that out of the equation, with companies like Chicago-based startup MADE Boards emerging that promise 3D-printed quality custom surfboards, wind-surfing boards, and stand-up paddle boards.

I must admit I'm a skeptic about using 3D printing to make a surfboard, being the owner of two custom-made boards and someone who's taken a pounding or two from strong waves.

My first thought is to wonder whether these 3D-printed boards would be strong enough to withstand the often-severe conditions of the sport, and my second is what happens to the custom-board shaper -- an artist in his or her own right -- and the actual craft of shaping a board by hand when 3D printing begins to take over the production process.

Chicago-based startup MADE Boards uses a mobile app that collects user data to design custom surf, sail, and paddle boards and then produces them through 3D printing for customers.

I interviewed Shanon Marks -- the co-founder of MADE Boards -- via email to find out more and have my questions and concerns addressed. He founded the company with Mark Laughlin, and is himself an avid sailor, windsurfer, and wave surfer. Marks explained to me how the process of designing and producing a board via the MADE system works, and the philosophy behind the company.

The company was formed for two reasons -- to ensure people ride boards that are best suited to their needs, and also to create a process that produces less waste, and thus is more environmentally friendly than mass surfboard production, Marks told us. He continued:

We know there's a better way to build boards, and for that matter, most things. There's too much waste associated with traditional, subtractive construction processes and our approach removes polystyrene, foam core blanks without sacrificing performance. We only use the exact amount of material we need to create our boards -- and it's all on-demand, removing the burden of inventory, and simplifying logistics. The environmental benefit is immense.

The first step to custom-designing a board from the company is to download a mobile app called VOLUME to a smartphone, and using a case the company provides to protect it from water, take the phone and app surfing (or wind surfing or stand-up paddle boarding). The app starts monitoring the session, collecting data around GPS data, speed, acceleration, deceleration, duration, starts, stops, all cross-referenced with atmospheric, and weather data, Marks said. He told us:

The whole system is built on a social platform and encourages participants to explore the habits and preferences of other riders. VOLUME, and the customization engine on our site, is the primary design influencer. As you ride, it takes note of large-scale patterns and helps you design the perfect board for your style, expertise, and local conditions, acting as your personal shaper.

People can also further customize the board according to their preferences, but the app "takes the guesswork and complexity out of the process," he said.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Waterat Pat



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 133

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very interesting stuff. The construction method is not entirely automated. The 3D printer works with thermoplastic to make stringers for a hollow board similar to plywood boat construction. You then still need to do all the bamboo/fiberglass/carbon layups by hand. Makes sense for lightweight freeride or race boards. Wave boards however get so much abuse I wonder if this construction can take it.
You have to sell an awful lot of boards to pay for a $450,000 3D printer.



3d Board.jpg
 Description:
 Filesize:  12.2 KB
 Viewed:  1789 Time(s)

3d Board.jpg


Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 5687

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The first step to custom-designing a board from the company is to download a mobile app called VOLUME to a smartphone, and using a case the company provides to protect it from water, take the phone and app surfing (or wind surfing or stand-up paddle boarding). The app starts monitoring the session, collecting data around GPS data, speed, acceleration, deceleration, duration, starts, stops, all cross-referenced with atmospheric, and weather data, Marks said. He told us:

The whole system is built on a social platform and encourages participants to explore the habits and preferences of other riders. VOLUME, and the customization engine on our site, is the primary design influencer. As you ride, it takes note of large-scale patterns and helps you design the perfect board for your style, expertise, and local conditions, acting as your personal shaper."

Oh really? GPS as the source of shaping details? Sounds like a bunch of nonsense to me, particularly relating to surfing. That said, I must emphasize that I have nothing against using a 3D manufacturing process to build hollow boards, but getting to the core performance design details will be done the traditional way. Folks want the boards that the best sailors, surfers or SUP riders use.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 788
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a photo of one of the prototypes that the company posted. They seemed proud of their success, but it looked like a lumpy turd to me. I'm not down on this idea at all, just seems like they have a lot of refining to do before this is a viable process. Unless of course you want to sail a lumpy turd.
_________________
Spennie the Wind Junkie
www.WindJunkie.net
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 398
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was a kickstart project that failed to get sufficient backing. They raised $38,670 of the $450,000 needed to buy the printer. Does not look like it will fly. YippieYo started a thread about this a few months ago called this is dumb.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
keycocker



Joined: 10 Jul 2005
Posts: 3206

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These guys are Makers. They want to print everything.
The food that they print looks like turds too.
NASA took that idea and hired two Makers to print pizza for astronauts.
I read that NASA says it works great and is pretty tasty.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Windsurfing Discussion All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group