Signal builds world's first 3D-printed snowboard
Signal Snowboards, the same company responsible for the snowboard made completely from glass, is at it again and this time, the company has used 3D printing technology to create a custom snowboard. Winter in the Northern Hemisphere may have just ended, but that doesn't mean snow has escaped the hearts and minds of riders.
The team at Signal worked with GROWit 3D to create the board. The two companies used a Connex 500 printer to accomplish the job.
One of the major limitations of the project was the size in which the team could print objects. So, instead of printing a full-sized snowboard, the group printed multiple smaller parts that fit together like puzzle pieces. During the build process, the team attempted to vacuum seal the board with resin to hold it solid, but it came out a little too flimsy to be safely ridden. In the end, Signal was forced to use metal strips to reinforce the board and make it actually rideable.
Besides being 3D printed, the shape of the board is fundamentally different from most snowboards. It has a much wider nose that quickly narrows, which creates smooth turning in deep powder, which is where the testing for the board happened.
Ultimately, the board did work, but it had a major flaw; it was slow. Signal was using it in the raw form (other than the metal reinforcing plates), and the team thinks the speed issue could easily be improved with some modifications to the base.
As is the case with the boards shown on Signal's Every Third Thursday web series, this was an experiment, and one that proved successful. Still, don't expect to see 3D-printed snowboards available in stores too soon, as it is still something that needs to do some evolving.
The video below shows the process and end result of the 3D-printed snowboard.
Source: Signal Showboards