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Surfing in 3D: Printed Boards Make Waves in Custom Design

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Rob Spiegel
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From the Design News Surf Team
Rob Spiegel   8/29/2013 8:13:21 AM
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My goodness, I didn't realize you were a surfer, Elizabeth. Ah, the hidden talents of the DN team. I'm surprised 3D printing has moved to large commercial products.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 10:55:08 AM
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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.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/29/2013 1:23:13 PM
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@Elizabeth – Wow that's impressive to see 3D printers printing surf boards. What can the 3D printer not print? 

Pubudu
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Pubudu   8/31/2013 12:04:33 AM
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Shehan Interesting Question, I also would like to see a list of things that the 3D printer can't print

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:15:29 AM
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I know, shehan, it's pretty incredible. Although I am still slightly skeptical about the surfboards. I'd have to see one to in action to believe it can perform as well as a handcrafted board.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/29/2013 1:25:08 PM
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@Elizabeth – Why do you still prefer hand craft boards still? Do you mean to say 3D printed boards are not accurate and neat? Is it the material and the hardness?

a.saji
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
a.saji   8/29/2013 11:44:07 PM
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@Shehan: 3D printing offers a huge variety of options for the users. Its not only printing. A new era in the world of printing.   

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:04:48 AM
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@a.saji – I think nothings impossible when you have 3D printer at home. You could easily create any object you want in minutes, isn't that amazing. Remember the traditional dot matrix printers, who would have thought there would be a time when we could create and object physically.

Pubudu
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Pubudu   8/30/2013 11:57:20 PM
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Shehan, I do believe that it is an art, that is where the real value is, isn't it Elizabeth?

Rob Spiegel
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Rob Spiegel   8/30/2013 11:50:50 AM
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Good for you Suffer Elizabeth! With 3D printing, there are some limitations in the type of materials you can use. Does this limitation compromise the quality of the custom boards?

notarboca
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
notarboca   8/30/2013 2:29:29 PM
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I;m a surfer too, and though 3D printing is a novel idea for surfboards, nothing can recreate the true art of a board maker.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:18:01 AM
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@notarboca – I am sure being a surfer you would love to easily customize your surf board with a 3D printer. Not sure how hard is this material compared to the original surfboard. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:22:38 AM
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I'm with you, notarboca, as I'm sure any surfer would be. Where do you surf mostly? What type of board do you ride?

notarboca
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
notarboca   9/3/2013 1:12:16 PM
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Elizabeth M, I've got a Quiksilver board.  I surf mostly the east coast of Florida, from Sebastion Inlet down to Boca Raton--wherever the waves are! Custom board=Stradivarius vs. what they rent your kid at the music shop.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/4/2013 6:55:45 AM
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Sounds great! I live on the southwest coast of Portugal and surf some world-class beaches on a custom-made 9"3' longboard. I am totally with you on the comparison...there really is none! But I'm still curious to see what comes out of the 3D world.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Rob Spiegel   9/3/2013 3:29:29 PM
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I expected someone would take this poiint of view -- and it's probably a valid view.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/4/2013 6:59:03 AM
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Which view, Rob? The "Stradivarius" one? Well it's pretty valid I would say, but only a surfer might fully understand. And surfing itself is so complex anyway--there are so many nuances to it. So to design a custom board built to perform a certain way for a surfer is in and of itself a very complex and mathematical task. So there are a lot of elements to this. And surfing might as well be a religion, so there are always going to be people who don't want to upset sacred rites and rituals, which custom and handmade surfboard shaping and producing is!

Rob Spiegel
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Rob Spiegel   9/4/2013 7:19:41 PM
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Elizabeth, I meant the view that some surfers will not want to move away from the art of a skilled board maker. Same thing happened in tennis. Many wanted the sport to stick to wooden rackets.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   8/29/2013 11:42:08 AM
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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.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/29/2013 1:26:48 PM
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@Elizabeth – I am sure 3D printing would do a massive change in the manufacturing industry. Very soon you could have a component printed while you wait. 

a.saji
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
a.saji   8/29/2013 11:40:11 PM
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@Shehan: Exactly and it will give the customers a unique experience on products. Definitely a turnaround in the market itself.   

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:01:50 AM
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@a.saji – I feel 3D printing is a different angle of thinking; I would love to see how 3D printing happens and the final product. I am sure it would be around us very soon, couple of months most probably.

Rob Spiegel
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Rob Spiegel   8/30/2013 2:56:01 PM
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I agree, Elizabeth, 3D printing is going primetime. It seems to be doing so in a number of industries simultaneously.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:15:33 AM
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@Rob – 3D printing is really useful for all the industries we touch, the greatest benefit is for the manufacturing industry. It's a new way of thinking and of doing things. 

Pubudu
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Pubudu   8/31/2013 12:20:34 AM
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Elizabeth, I feel that 3D will be more feasible for the samples, models etc.................. when it goes to the mass production molding kind of things will be more cost effective. Please correct me if I am wrong. 

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:23:57 AM
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@Pubudu – yes 3D printer will make products check as you could now easily replicate them in minutes. I feel very soon we will not be able to differentiate products from originals and 3D printed. 

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:26:51 AM
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@pubudu – I have a feeling that 3D printers might bring a copyright issue to the manufacturers. Manufactures f less complex products would definitely lose customers as they could make their products from home. 

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:37:22 AM
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Well even though that's how 3D printing started, Pubudu, I am under the perception that that is changing, and 3D is becoming more affordable for mass production. Although I don't think it's really taking over traditional manufacturing yet, I think there is a change in process. But maybe some others who have a bit more knowledge about this can weigh in?

Ann R. Thryft
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Ann R. Thryft   9/4/2013 12:45:38 PM
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Great story, Elizabeth. Surfboards are yet another product that can benefit from 3D printing's customization abilities.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/5/2013 4:47:21 AM
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Thanks, Ann. Even though I have said a few times how I prefer handmade boards, I do think you're right and this will be a boon for boards that fall somewhere in between handmade and mass produced. It's a nice middle ground for someone who wants something built for them but doesn't have access to a custom shaper. And who knows where the technology may go in the future?

Cabe Atwell
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Cabe Atwell   10/23/2013 6:15:08 PM
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Customizing a board is an incredibly difficult task even for manufacturers that stick to traditional methods. 3D printing gives surfers another option when choosing a board for themselves. For me, I'd have to have a 3D printed board with a chair and cup-holder printed into the design.

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   10/24/2013 5:30:53 AM
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Ha, that's not a bad idea, Cabe (the chair and cupholder). I assume you mean an actual chair and cupholder that you can use? Or just an image of them? You bring up a good point about how customization and 3D printing make pretty much anything possible when it comes to what a person wants in their specific design.

It also makes me think of the idea my surfer friends and I often bring up that we would like to start a cafe boat that sits just beyond the surf break (on days when the sea is calm between sets and not rough) for those long sessions when we get hungry or thirsty in the water. The idea is that we can just paddle over and have a drink or a sandwich, then paddle back to the lineup. In this case, your cupholder would come in handy!

Pubudu
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Pubudu   8/30/2013 11:52:36 PM
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True Rob it's nice to hear that the Elizabeth is a surfer, Elizabeth why don't you share some photos.
Elizabeth I have heard something call personalize Surf boards, is it true? If so there is a great advantage of 3D printing surf boards.

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:19:37 AM
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@PubuduR – Personalized surf boards, what more could you expect. I think now you don't need any engraving to create your own customized product. Do you know that there is a scanner to replicate the products? 

shehan
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
shehan   8/31/2013 12:22:06 AM
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It's nice to hear how technology works

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aghzpO_UZE

Courtesy National Geographic Channel

Elizabeth M
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Re: From the Design News Surf Team
Elizabeth M   9/3/2013 4:20:40 AM
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Thanks for the link, shehan. That's a good 3D primer for sure. And it's going so much further than that now.

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