If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s time you did. The Dolphin Board of Awesome is the first 3D printed, recyclable, compostable surfboard in the entire world. Surfers are known for coming up with projects that connect to the ocean, and it’s no surprise as they spend so much time out in the water.
This board features a resin glass top, transparent bottom, and algae ink. Compostable fins are used and the board is printed in 14 pieces. The 3D printing process allows for a huge amount of design possibility by changing density and flex while implementing biomimetics.
Surprisingly, the Dolphin Board of Awesome had few investors involved. Despite that, the project was completely quickly. The creators used the LAUNCH network to assemble a team of experts on surfcraft design, biomimicry, chemical engineering, additive manufacturing, sustainability consulting, finance, filmmaking, and academia.
The team behind this whole project include Zachary Ostroff, Nate Petre, Martijn Stiphout, Alex Thompson, Michael Steward, Rey Banatao, Marlon Lewis, Greg Ostroff, and Jaff Jamaoui.
More about the Dolphin Board
Zachary Ostroff, co-creator of the board, states, “The material we used for the green sections of the board are derived from algae in lakes in the middle of the United States of America where it's invasive and it's sucking oxygen out of the lakes and killing life. There's a company we work with who have figured out a way to collect that algae and turn it into a 3D printing ink.
“Then the other section is derived from plastic water bottles. Nate Petre who's the 3D printing genius behind making this whole board has a lab partner where he works in London and figured out a way to make the 3D printing ink out of those recycled plastic bottles.”
Petre is a PhD researcher at London’s Imperial College and has been working as a 3D printing engineer for a few years now. In addition to that, Dolphin Board of Awesome has team members who exist in seven different time zones, all without a single office and limited funding for the project. Somehow, despite all that, the product was finished in a mere six months.
Where to Move from Here
Ostroff has stated hopes that new possibilities in design will allow for incorporating dolphin biomimetic principles to make the board smooth go through water and with a better stability where location is concerned.
“Really, we wanted to create an object that would animate some of the most sustainable, accessible, 21st century technologies in a way that people understand, under the feet of the world’s best surfers. And also blow our minds while riding the waves we love so dearly,” said Ostroff.
The board is definitely something new and it’s interesting to see a product that uses 3D printing, but also works to be as eco-friendly as possible. It shows care and understanding of their target market and makes a dent that shows not every 3D project is run by corporate companies looking to make more money. Sometimes people just want to do the right thing, and the Dolphin Board of Awesome seems to be one of those.