Wabo Offers a Bodysurfing Accessory Made From Recycled 3D Printed Protoypes
Uido, a design studio based in the U.S. and Argentina, recently came up with a new idea of designing paddles – or handplanes, as they are called in the bodysurfing community – made from 3D printed objects. These boards are usually slipped under the hands to help a bodysurfer glide over the waves. But the actual reason why we are talking about it today, is because of its ecological dimension: These paddles, called Wabo, are made out of recycled 3D printed plastic prototypes. The studio relies entirely on Fused Deposition Modeling to produce the prototypes of its future products and decided to recycle them afterwards, to make these small accessories for bodysurfing lovers.
As you might already know, 3D printing already makes it possible to recycle any kind of waste, whatever it may be. The projects revolving around the so called “circular economy” are steadily growing in the numbers, contributing to the idea that AM is a manufacturing process that tends to be kinder to the planet. This of course includes many different eco-friendly projects in surfing!
The Uido studio’s main job is to support and advise its customers on developing aesthetic and practical products, especially as it comes to graphics, the design or the digital components. To make their ideas more imaginable, the company makes physical examples for their clients, using 3D printing technology. But what happens to the prototype afterwards? Is it destined to be yet another piece of waste, adding to the tons of plastic garbage thrown away every day? Wanting to find a better solution, the team started a new project. The company explains, “Every time we do a product design project, making 3D printed prototypes is an essential part of the process. So, throughout the year, we fill tons of boxes with these prototypes in different colors and sizes. So we started thinking about what we could do with them and how we could turn them into a fun new product. That’s how the idea of making hand-held boards for surfing the waves was born.”
The production teams grind their 3D printed prototypes and recover the plastic shavings. They then make 6mm thick plates that they cut into the desired shape – in this case small pallets to slip under the hands. The result is a rather original mix of colors; all that is left to do is add the fastener! Or as Uido studios puts it, “one person’s trash becomes another person’s boards”. This project illustrates how additive manufacturing is linked closely to the circular economy. Be sure to check out the design studio’s website to see their other projects.
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*Cover Photo Credits: Uido Design Studio LLC