Design your own 3D printed surfboard

A few of the 3D printed boards on offer. Photo Disrupt
A few of the 3D printed boards on offer. Photo: Courtesy of Disrupt

Disrupt is the first company to produce 3D printed surfboards. The idea came when CEO, Gary Elphick walked out of a surf shop with a brand new, $1000 surfboard only to find three of his buddies had recently bought the exact same model.

With a marketing background for global tech companies like Microsoft and BlackBerry, he wanted to find an alternative to the mass-produced surfboards available.

His solution was the use of 3D printing, which has been used to create snowboards, jet engines, car parts, prosthetic legs, weapons and mining equipment. However, it had never been applied to surfboard manufacturing.

It’s a process of constructing a three-dimensional object through the production of tiny successive layers of material by computer. A 3D printer then heats the material and distributes it through nozzles, much like icing a cake.

After assembling a team (and a few years of research and development), in 2014 Elphick started Disrupt and began manufacturing 3D printed surfboards from their base in Bondi Beach.

“It’s a three step process,” Elphick tells GrindTV. “You choose your own board from a library of over 500 shapes and sizes. Then you add your own designs by uploading your own graphics, logo, name or message. We then turn it into a 3D render, machine print it, finish by hand and deliver it to your door.” The boards retail at a starting price of $600.

Disrupt claims to have every type of surfboard for every type of surfer, and each one is 100 percent customized. The creativity is the key, with the customer’s imagination being the only limitation of what you can design.

The company has printed boards shaped like an arrow, they’ve embedded someone’s ashes into a board and even built a board with an iPad and inductive charging. Their boards have been exported to Asia and the company has set up offices in Santa Monica and London.

Not content with his own expansion, Elphick sees the 3D technology as having the potential to revolutionize the whole industry.

“Our vision is that the industry will move like the music industry and become more focused on digital files,” he recently told Surfd. “Those files will be available online and that local machines will be able to print in full. If I want a board from a shaper in Bondi, I can buy that file and print it in France or Cali.”

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