Chicago based Made Boards have launched a Kickstarter project to further develop their custom 3D printed SmartBoards, with the aim of raising $450,000. These customized sail, surf, kite and paddle boards are tailored to each owner by using their VOLUME mobile app for iOS and Android which tracks the surfer in the water.
Each MADE Smartboard has a custom 3D printed internal structure which has been designed to take into account factors that define a board’s shape, including how the individual rides the board using data from the app. The board is wrapped in bamboo underlayment and enclosed in a rigid fiberglass shell. 3D printing helps reduce board weight, minimize material use and keep costs down.
MADE’s founder Shanon Marks had the idea to create the Smartboards because most boards are mass produced overseas and are designed for the average rider.
“You look at a surfboard, you look at a sailboard and it has terabytes of data ‘stored’ inside of it,” Marks told Mashable. “Like there’s this amazing, amazing history of everything it does on the water. What if we could quantify that? Additive manufacturing really became the best way to do that because it’s a direct translation from the data input that we’re collecting.”
To start the design process a surfer downloads the VOLUME app, puts their phone in a waterproof case and goes out on the water. Over several days on the water, the app works to collect data on your performance which will be used as design influences for your new board. Various data is collected including the time of day and year, and also cross-references with relevant weather conditions, such as wind speed & direction, wave height, wave speed, wave direction, barometric pressure, altitude, and freshwater versus saltwater. The design team also integrate data from other VOLUME users to create a board that is best suited to how your ride.
With two weeks of the Kickstarter project remaining they have only raised $4,000, which is well short of their goal. For a pledge of $799 you will get a MADE Kite board, $11,299 gets you a paddle board and $1,499 secures a sail board.