Surfing in 3D: Printed Boards Make Waves in Custom Design
The 3D-printed structure of the MARK 1 additively manufactured sailboard. 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. (Source: MADE Boards)
Yes, I'm a surfer, Rob, but not the kind you see riding those little boards on TV--I ride a longboard, which is better for older people like me that just want to enjoy the waves and have fun. :) I, too, was suprised to see 3D printing for something like this, as you can tell by my story. But it seems quite possible and could be an interesting proposition for surfboard design and production in the future. Although I still think handcrafted custom boards are the best, in my opinion.
The other thing I wanted to say is that yes, while 3D printing does seem to be moving into the commercial realm, MADE Boards isn't actually selling its products yet and it seems like initially these will be more specialized, custom products. But they are definitely planning large production volumes, so I suppose 3D printing is going to prime time.
Both traditional automation companies and startups are developing technologies to improve processes on the factory floor, while smart sensors and other IoT-related technologies are improving how products are handled during transport and across the supply chain.
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