Slide Fins catch the market with FDM
The Prototype: Slide Fins—Spring loaded surfboard fins
Designed specifically to allow surfers to easily carry out slide manoeuvres on smaller waves such as:
- tail sliding
- reverse 360
- rail slides
- easier landing
The Client: Slide Fins (www.slidefins.com)
Slide fins was started by Scott Peberdy, Owner and surfboard shaper at Outereef Surfboards Australia in Phillip Island, Victoria. An avid surfer himself, Scott came up with the idea for Slide Fins as a way of allowing surfers to easily slide across the face of a wave, rather than fighting the anchoring tendencies of regular surfboard fins. Traditional fins are fixed in a solid up-right position stopping the surfboards tail from sliding out. Slide Fins are hinged for left or right waves, providing minimal resistance when sliding, allowing for easier manoeuvrability.
The Rapid Prototyping Process: Prototyping for testing
Several prototypes were required throughout development of the Slide Fin. The first round of prototypes built were made in China, but these either broke or could not be assembled due to poor scaling and part manufacture.
After a disappointing sta rt, Scott Peberdy came to RapidPro for help with prototyping and material selection for testing and fine tuning his Slide Fin design. After speaking to Simon Bartlett, RapidPro Head Engineer (and avid surfer), a new set of prototypes were produced locally in PC using Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM technology) at the Redeye Australasia build centre.
“Polycarbonate (PC) was the best material for the fins as it is strong, rigid and allowed for functional testing of the product. PC is also hydrophobic so the parts remained dimensionally stable throughout the testing process,” says Simon Bartlett of RapidPro.
“FDM allowed the fin and base to be built in single pieces as the same time to ensure accuracy and fit. The springs were added later and the prototypes were able to be fitted to a traditional surfboard for testing.“
After testing, Scott was able to move confidently into the manufacture phase of the project.
“Working with RapidPro was such an important part of our project. Simon Bartlett was great to deal with and his expert advice was invaluable. The 3D prototypes helped us produce perfect samples that we could touch, feel and inspect. If we had of skipped this stage it would have meant a lot of costly changes when it came to tooling. Thanks to producing functional solid prototypes, we were able to fix the problems we discovered prior to tooling, saving us thousands. “
To view a pdf version of this Case Study 6 Slide Fins, click here.
Slide fins are available online and at selected surf shops.