Thermoforming bodyboards.

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Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:19 pm

Myself and another guy are working on thermoforming different surfcraft, hes focussing on surfboards and Im doing bodyboards. Thermoforming takes a few ideas from different areas and builds a totally new board.

Its a shaped foam core like a surfboard but you can use EPS (styrofoam).
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And then vacuum a thin heated sheet of plastic over the foam on both sides.

Heres a surfboard as an example with a clear skin.( not mine)

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And what you get is a perfectly smooth skin thats fused to the foam.
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Weve tried thermoforming over lots of different foam combos,

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but weve got the right materials to start making some test boards.

Because its not made of blocks and strips like a commercial bb, you can try different rail shapes. Or concaves, channels, handgrips, or whatever you can shape into a block of foam.

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Its as simple as shaping the foam in any design you like, and then the thermoforming takes about 30 minutes in total to do both sides.

The plastic is either ABS, ( the same as car fenders), ASA or Kydex, but theyre all waterproof, UV stable and 100% recyclable. And they come in flat colours, metallic and woodgrains and heaps more.

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The boards are light and strong but because the plastic skin is about .5 mm over foam the board is softer than fibreglass. Theres no resins or sanding to make these boards but its still got flex like a standard bodyboard.
Im shaping two boards this week and they should be ready the week after for testing.

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by alakaboo » Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:49 pm

Interesting. You don't need a vent? How do you attach a leash plug?
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:52 pm

We'll wait snd see if venting is needed, Ive made plenty of shortboards and bodyboards with this foam and never needed a vent.
For the plugs I'll install before the thermoforming or maybe try a leash loop. We've still got a few things to test but its great fun theorising about the science, doing the research and then getting it done.
These next 2 boards will teach us a lot more...

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by marcus » Sun Oct 21, 2012 1:39 pm

mate i'm keen to try one out or help in any way.

also reakon you could form some outriggers for me?
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:55 pm

MARCUS, after we get these next two boards done, I'll pick which design I like the most and then I'll make a dozen or so for other people to test ride.
Basically youre invited to kill it and see if theres a weak spot in the design or materials or construction.

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by marcus » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:50 pm

SURFFOILS wrote:MARCUS, after we get these next two boards done, I'll pick which design I like the most and then I'll make a dozen or so for other people to test ride.
Basically youre invited to kill it and see if theres a weak spot in the design or materials or construction.

cheers, look forward to it.
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by Cuttlefish » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:43 am

I was thinking about this a couple of days ago after reading a few different threads on Swaylocks and thinking this kind of thing would happen soon enough.
Knew there had to be a simpler way than all the time consuming steps involved in glassing pu boards and that someone would figure out how to simply make a board out of some material that didn't even require a skin.
This is the next simplest thing.
Exciting stuff.
Especially as it's not just doing a popout of the same shape ad infinitum but thermoforming a skin over any custom shape.
It can still support the shape a newie in the afternoon and ride it the next morning in a pumping swell spirit of surfing innovation.
Bravo.
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:48 pm

Gotta get these next two boards done and I'll let you guys know whats next but things are looking positive for the future.

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by Kunji » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:43 pm

How is this coming along? I just saw this thread and am keen on testing out the boards. Im mainly concerned on the flex and which type of core/foam you have compared resistence to. I've tried a few outside-the-box type set ups and they have all proved to be too stiff to ride conventionally.
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:43 pm

Coops, you're in. DY and I'm in manly, drop in and we can chat about the thermoformed boards and the hydrofoiled boards as well ,!!!!

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by Kunji » Sat Dec 29, 2012 3:04 pm

Awesome mate. Look forward to having a chat and taking one out.
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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Sat Dec 29, 2012 5:27 pm

Ive spoken to several thermoforming companies and no one wants to do anything outside of their usual work. If they thermoform car parts , they dont want to do bodyboards. Dunno why...?
Id buy a machine and do it myself but the machines are ~ 10K, so thats not going to happen !
But there are other ways to get things done.
I'll try another angle next year.

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Tue Oct 01, 2013 6:00 pm

Screwup with photbucket ! I'm cursed with posting pics, probably my own fault for using the same 6 letter password for all my accounts !
The thermoforming companies aren't interested in small scale R and D, you've got to find someone who's interested and these days people just want to make money rather than muck around with experiments.
I'm sure it will come to pass that thermoforming will be a big scale enterprise because it takes a shaped blank and quickly adds a hard, smooth, perfect skin but it also takes an entry label of 20 000 or 30 000 $ to get started in any serious way.

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Re: Thermoforming bodyboards.

Post by SURFFOILS » Tue Oct 01, 2013 8:50 pm

I can get the pics back up but the pics will only tell you so much, what did you want to know ? I'm happy to tell you all I know...

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