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Wakeboard for Bianchinis
July 2017 Bianchini-Love
If you know the Bianchinis, you know that they love water sports. After spending time with the Bianchinis during the summer of 2017, Henry wanted to create a gift for them. Henry's Crocs are a point of contention between him and Mrs. Bianchini, so (mostly) as a joke, he decided to create a wakeboard with boots as Crocs. Please note that this wakeboard is not intended to be used as a real wakeboard; it's intended to be a wall piece, or a funny item. As one of the smallest people you'll ever meet, the boots and wakeboard are sized to fit Mrs. Bianchini's (with maybe a bit of exaggeration...) since Henry noticed all but she had a wakeboard to use.
The idea of this project is to create a wakeboard for Mrs. Bianchini. The constraints were: small enough to fit her, Crocs as boots (of course), and a personal design. Hyperlite is a standard when it comes to wakeboards, thus their logo was incorporated into the design to make this miniature wakeboard more "authentic".
Crocs used for the boots of the wakeboard. Hand for scale.
The design of the wakeboard is broken up into two sections: the fin/peg design (which is mostly 3D in nature) and the board design (which is mostly 2D in nature). All the CAD was performed using Autodesk Fusion 360.
Some wakeboards have fins on the underside of the board that help keep the board oriented while in use. The fins for this wakeboard were loosely modeled in CAD, imitating the rough shape of standard wakeboard fins. The fins on this wakeboard are widened a bit to facilitate attaching them to the finished board. The wakeboard has a total of 4 fins. Each fin has two pegs that fasten them to the board.
3D model of a wakeboard fin: 1) side view, 2) top view, 3) bottom view (with peg holds visible).
Peg to keep fins in place.
The design of the board consisted primarily of .dxf files for the waterjet and vinyl cutter. To keep things simple, a paint job of only three colors was used.
Design flow of the CAD: 1) board outline trace, 2) graphics trace, 3) back design, 4) front design.
In order for the project to remain feasible, the design of the wakeboard was kept simple. First, the profile of the wakeboard was traced from an image acquired from the internet. A quarter of the wakeboard was traced in CAD, and the full board was realized by mirroring. Next, graphics from the internet were used to for the logo and unique attributes (the images used are included in the "images.zip" file included in the "Project Documents" section). Since Italians (the Bianchinis) are no stranger to wine, it seemed fitting to replace the rather oddly-shaped "Y" in "HYPERLITE" for a wine glass. The wine/wine drops were free-handed using splines to create the final image/drawing. An observant reader may recognize that the front design is very similar to the back design; this reduced the amount of tedious CAD work necessary to create the paint masks. Large "swoops" were added to the front and back of the wakeboard to liven it up and give it a more "sporty" feel.
The fabrication of the wakeboard consisted of three main tools: a 3D printer, a waterjet, and a vinyl cutter. In addition, spray paint was used to color the bare aluminum board. A 3D printer was used to create plastic fins to mimic the fins on a traditional wakeboard, the waterjet was used to cut the board outline, and the vinyl cutter was used to create the color masks for the paint job.
The fins of the wakeboard were created by roughly copying the profile of a standard wakeboard fin. The fins and pegs were printed on a Stratasys uPrint SE in MIT MakerLodge.
Fins and pegs after 3D printing.
The profile of a wakeboard was traced in CAD to produce the board outline and ensure proper scaling. In addition to the board outline, holes were cut in the board to allow the 3D printed fins to attach to the final product.