The man who printed his own surfboard

February 5, 2015 | Surfing
3D printed surfboard: don't judge before riding it

Jody Roth has produced one of the world's first 3D printed surfboards.

If you own a 3D printer, you can bring almost any object to life. In this particular case, Jody and his son Matej decided to "print" a real surfboard. After successfully producing a 1/3 scale prototype, it was time to shape the real deal.

Roth picked his favourite template in the BoardCAD software, exported it to the 3D printer and started the process. The machine produced multiple diamond-shaped structures that were put together with acrylic glue. What Jody didn't know was that glassing would be the ultimate challenge.

"If not for the glassing, I'd have been pretty damn proud of this project. The fact is this was difficult, did not go as rehearsed and didn't turn out as nice as I wanted," explains the 3D printed surfboard shaper.

3D printed surfboard: glassing diamonds

"I had watched all the experts doing their thing, well, expertly on YouTube. They made it look easy. Hell, even my little test board was a snap. How hard could this really be? Hard. Really hard to get right."

Finally, the fins. Jody Roth 3D printed his own fins and laminated them with the Sun Cure polyester resin. He also cut the appropriate fin angles in scrap wood as a jig to hold the fins in place, and make it easier to align them properly over the surfboard.

The total printing time was of 164 hours, but Judy is not sure if he will ever do this again "because the time required is huge, cost is about the same as a traditional board in the store, and I don't have the skill to do it perfect next time."

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