Stratasys 3D printed parts put to the test ahead of challenge.
The world’s first extreme sports university course has recruited 3D printing technology from Stratasys to produce one of a kind kitesurfing boards.
This week the unique boards from the University of Wales, TSD Swansea, will be put to the test in a record-breaking land vs. sea challenge across the British Channel. Using the Stratasys Fortus 3D Production System, the boards have been designed to harness the power of both sea and wind when five kite surfers take to the water in a competition against a standard Honda Civic hybrid car back on land.
The boards are made up of 3D printed parts including newly designed board fins which are considerably more lightweight than traditionally manufactured parts and tailored to suit the elements during the race. 3D printed inserts will secure the foot straps to the board to achieve maximum strength.
The team printed their parts on two Stratasys Fortus 250mc 3D Production Systems in collaboration with Stratasys reseller Laser Lines. The team were able to print final parts to optimum size, shape, angles and fixings for the race environment.
Ross Head, Product Design Manager for Cerebra at the University of Wales TSD Swansea, and one of the challenge kite-surfers, said: “The use of 3D printing in product design, and especially in the extreme sport market, is revolutionising the manufacturing process and the speed to which companies can bring new products to market. We wanted our students to witness this first hand.”
The project aims to inspire current and potential students as to the potential of cutting edge design and manufacturing processes that could help shape their future careers. The challenge is set to happen his week and should take roughly three hours to complete. If the conditions are as planned, it is quite possible the water team will beat the auto team on land who will face local Devon country roads and traffic.
Ross adds: “We are very excited about what 3D printing means for our industry and our course – essentially, anything our students can dream up can be made reality. I predict that 3D printing will play a huge role in the design and development of almost all final year projects for many years to come.”