3D printed electric surfboards
Kai Concept's electric surfboard is 3D printed with Figure 4
KAI Concepts’ has a team of creative problem solvers with a great experience in the creation and testing of hydrofoil systems. Their latest creation is Jetfoiler, an electric surfboard that is suitable for riders of all ages and ability level. This board is designed to be fun and extremely safe at the same time: this is why the research and development phase has been so accurate.
Design and prototype in a shorter time
The challenge for the team was to simplify and accelerate the research and development process by producing accurate and reliable parts for functional testing with 3D printing
3D Systems’ Figure 4 Standalone printer and its Figure 4 PRO-BLK 10 material offered the solution, making it possible for the Kai team to make same-day prototypes and then perform functional tests immediately.
The 3D printed parts are subjected to multiple water test sessions lasting a couple of hours at speeds from 20 to 30 km/h within a few hours.
From the idea to the testing-phase within a few hours
3D Systems’ Figure 4 Standalone printer and its advanced materials have been of great help to the R&D department, because they have contributed to the reduction of time and resources previously dedicated to the realization of prototypes that sometimes proved inadequate.
The printing speed of this machine made it possible to go from the idea to the actual test within the same day. The durable materials, resisting even major stress, were fundamental in accelerating the entire process of creating the new product.
Moving to Figure 4 has had a major impact on productivity: parts that used to require a full day of printing are now ready in half the time. Kai Calder from KAI Concepts says: “Now we can proceed with the post processing and go and try the parts in the water in the afternoon. By the end of the day we are already working on the second project review“.
Before Figure 4 Standalone, Kai Concepts used other systems that required twice or even three times as much time to complete prints. With Figure 4 also, depending on the piece to be printed, you can now print almost twice as many pieces in a single plate.
Figure 4’s non-contact membrane technology has not only accelerated printing and increased productivity, it has also improved the accuracy of prototypes. This has also helped to increase the quality and speed of data acquisition during testing, a key aspect of the design phase.
3D-printed parts with Figure 4 are tested in water for a couple of hours at a speed of up to 30 km/h.
Some examples of 3D printed parts by KAI Concepts are motor mounts, propeller guards, Kort nozzles: during tests in the water, all parts have to withstand the load of several people and to the vibration from the motor. The kort nozzle, which includes a wing section that helps the propeller to create more thrust, is a part that requires special precision.
In order to refine and improve your projects more and more, it is important to have an accurate and precise reference part before starting production. “With a precise reference part we avoid delays and costs for inadequate moulds“. Figure 4 has proven itself to be perfectly up to the task, providing reliable and accurate prints at every use.
Do you want to learn more about Figure 4 Standalone, the affordable and versatile 3D printer for rapid prototyping and small scale production? Go to our product page: