We’ve seen 3D printers fabricate vehicles ready to for the open road – and now California-based Signal Snowboards has shown that printers can produce quality boards for the slopes! Working with GROWit 3D, Signal was able to use a carbon-based powder to compose a board in composite pieces using a selective-laser-sintering (SLS) machine. The board has an unusual shoveled nose and wide tail, and the team tested it in its raw form in the powder of a Colorado bowl. While not the most gorgeous or speedy deck on the mountain, the board was still strong and flexible enough to handle some good carving.
Signal has a knack for producing very unique custom boards. Their monthly videos for “Every Third Thursday” have already featured a LEGO board, an iPad board dubbed the “iShred”, a multi-tool board, a deck covered in solar panels to charge devices, a glass board, and a working xylophone board. Their 3D printed board was constructed in pieces after being designed on a computer and built one layer at a time using a SLS machine. Once they extracted the individual units, they were glued together and covered in resin. Finding the whole deck a bit flimsy, they added metal rods for stability.
During their test run, they decided to ride the board in its raw form without a sintered base. While it went a bit slower than desired, they figured that the base could be easily modified to make it fly down the mountain. The shoveled nose allows for good wide turns and gives the board a very distinctive appearance. Giving a new meaning to “technical riding”, the future of shredding may feature gear printed to exact specifications.