July 10, 2014

To support the the annual gala and fundraiser for the Architecture and Design Museum > Los Angeles, LA-based design studio Karten Design has created a custom built, 3D printed surf board. Following this year's sun-'n'-surf theme, Karten Design has come up with "Endless Sinter," an exclusive, custom-built surfboard design for a live runway show and was auctioned on June 28th, 2014.

"Endless Sinter" is Karten Design's tribute to the classic single-fin surfboard, popularized during the rise of surf culture in 1960s Southern California. It is inspired by the wave patterns created when swells from the Northern and Southern Pacific converge that produce ideal surfing conditions.

"Endless Sinter" features a unique hollow frame made from overlapping sets of concentric rings. A thin strip of dark walnut wood adorns the board from its nose to its tail, creating rich visual contrast against the off-white body. Continuing the same wave-inspired graphic element, a single fin protrudes from the bottom side of the board.

"Endless Sinter" is not the first surfboard to be 3D-printed, but this one is pretty unique. Its name is a play on the classic surf film title, "Endless Summer," and the special process by which it was printed, the Selective Laser Sintering technology. Karten Design partnered with SciCon Technologies in Valencia, CA to 3D print the board, which laser-binds materials together one fragment at a time. By introducing this technique to the surfboard design process, Karten Design was able to realize a distinct, elaborate design that would be very difficult to accomplish using traditional hand carving methods.

For Karten Design, the surfboard is meaningful not only as a symbol of the coastal culture that surrounds us, but also as a quintessential example of great design. Like any well-designed object, surfboards embody beauty in their proportion, form, and material; yet, they deliver pure function, with no extraneous details needed to achieve optimal performance. Designing "Endless Sinter" served as a fun reminder of how fortunate we are to blend the best of creativity and purpose in our everyday work—in one of the most beautiful settings in the world.

Posted in 3D Printing Applications

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