3D Printing Paddle Boards – Reality or Hype?

3D Paddle Board Printers coming of age?

#D paddle board printing machine

What if you could have a custom paddle board made by a machine, all you would need to do is enter in the dimensions and then print out to your liking? It sounds futuristic but this is something that is happening right now.  3D printing has been around since the late 80’s but the first self-replicating printer was released to the market in 2008. Additive Manufacturing (3D printing) is the process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file. This additive process is done by laying down successive layers of material (i.e. plastic, metal, glass, polymers, wax, and human tissue) until the entire object is created. Companies and individuals having been making everything from prosthetic limbs to houses and now paddle boards are being replicated.

The World’s First 3D Printed Paddle Board to Hit Market

a 3D printed paddle board scale model

A company called 3D Creation Systems held a contest to see who could come up with the best stand up paddle board for 3D printing. The winning design was a three piece SUP that was made out of plastic, when connected, the pieces would form one solid unit similar to Legos. With paddle boards sometimes being too big to put in your house or transport in a car, (except our inflatables) this board allows you to break into smaller pieces making it easy to transport. The rational for this type of manufacturing is that these boards won’t produce any excess waste because the board is the only object being printed. That being said, the boards are made from plastic which isn’t your traditional component for any board

What will the future hold for 3D paddle Boards?

As far as the utility of these boards, I nor anyone I know have paddled around with one and I’m curious how they would “Stand Up” against the competition. It would be nice if we could print out a paddle board that was functional and had some quality to it. Nevertheless, I think the board building community as a whole won’t be rushing out for any 3D printer purchases anytime soon. To produce a high quality, functional board with a 3D printer is more of a dream than a reality. However, with evolving board building materials and ever more accessible and advanced 3D printing the future of this amazing technology could forever change the board building industry. Stay Tuned!

 

Posted in Industry
Marc Miller - Co-Founder of Isle Surf & SUP. I started Isle back in 2004 to share my love of paddling and surfing in the ocean with others one board at a time. I love to surf, paddle , travel and write about it. When im not in the office I can be found on foreign shores searching for waves and fun.

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