July 26, 2015 | By Simon

When it comes to custom fabricated product designs, surfboards have been around for decades and have launched the careers of dedicated ‘shapers’ who use shaping tools to whittle foam material away until a specified and balanced custom board design is achieved.  But just like most other industries, it too is being disrupted by additive manufacturing technologies.

Among others who have been actively exploring the potential for additive manufacturing for surfboard designs include Australian entrepreneur and surfer Gary Elphick, whose company Disrupt Surfboards allows surfers to shape their own boards using online tools.      

“Our mission is to help you create and share your own customized surfboard,” explains Elphick.   

“You tell us all about yourself, your ability and what you're trying to achieve with your surfing. We use 3D printing design technology to make a digital set up of your board, you direct the art, finish and design and we finish the rest. We only use the best quality, long lasting, eco-friendly materials.”

To create a board, a customer simply determines the details of what they want from their custom board design, which the company than converts into a 3D model.  From there, both a 3D render and a 3D print are created of the board which are then used to communicate with the customer any design changes that need to be made in advance of the full-scale manufacturing of the custom board.  Once any design decisions have been determined, the final file is uploaded to the company’s shaping machine where it is cut from foam, glassed and sprayed.  After a quality check, the board is delivered to the customer.  

While the brand is established in Australia, a recent trip to California has inspired Elphick to further expand his business into San Francisco’s booming tech culture, where plenty of tech workers escape to nearby beaches to surf after work and on the weekends.  

“I saw, spoke about and discussed with partners the opportunity for Disrupt and the our mass-customisation platform for sports equipment,” explains Elphick in a recent LinkedIn blog post that explores moving a company to Silicon Valley or not.  

“I can’t wait to open Disrupt to US market and take a big swing, but it won’t be without being a solid foundation, happy customers and a well-structured base in Australia.”

Elphick goes on further to describe how he feels like the area made him feel welcome and he had a strong sense of community with like-minded individuals that were focused on disrupting the normal.   

“I found that everyone was pitching some idea or startup and were genuinely interested to hear what you are working on, they are always optimistic, all hyper-connected and all appreciate the power of networking.  There are meet-ups on every night of week; in every coffee shop there are people working on their start up, collaborating, meeting or pitching.”

As some say - sometimes you have to surround yourself with high energy in order to become infected with high energy yourself - it’s hard to deny that San Francisco and the surrounding Valley are among the best places for a tech entrepreneur to be these days.  


Posted in 3D Printing Applications



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MRPEasy wrote at 7/28/2015 5:14:35 PM:

3d manufacturing makes customization easy as 1-2-3!

shaun lamont wrote at 7/27/2015 8:43:57 PM:

3d printed?? nowhere in the animation, website, or supplier materials does it have 3d printing at all..NONE facts...they will help

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