Green algae is used to make 3D printed surfboards, according to


Surfing has always been about riding the waves, but in the 1950s, it also became about riding the wave of innovation. Petroleum-based materials revolutionized the surfboard industry, offering surfers lightweight, durable, and flexible boards. However, as we have become more aware of the environmental impact of these materials, it is clear that we need to find a more sustainable solution. That is where Jérémy Lucas, a surfer-entrepreneur from Brittany, France, comes in.

Lucas’s venture, Paradoxal Surfboards, is tackling this contradiction head-on by utilizing beached seaweed to 3D print surfboards. This initiative not only addresses the environmental threats posed by petroleum-based materials but also transforms an environmental problem into a valuable resource. Brittany is abundant in seaweed, making it the perfect raw material for this innovative process.

So how does it work? The process begins by collecting, drying, and crushing the seaweed to create a thermoformable material for 3D printing. The design of the surfboard takes inspiration from the biological structure of green algae, mimicking its efficiency and strength. The prototype is printed in two parts and then heat-sealed. To ensure durability and performance, the board undergoes laminating/glassing, forming a protective seal.

The initial model has shown great promise in terms of performance and durability, but Lucas doesn’t plan to stop there. He is considering incorporating flax or hemp fiber into future models, further enhancing the sustainability of the surfboards. This proves that sustainable practices can also lead to improved performance attributes, such as chop cushioning and maneuverability.

Of course, printing surfboards is no easy feat, especially considering their size. Paradoxal Surfboards turned to Modix, a company specializing in large-format FFF printers, to fabricate the boards in a single part. This ensures that the surfboards maintain their integrity and strength throughout the printing process.

In terms of raw materials, the process involves processing approximately 2 kg of seaweed down to 1 kg to create a single board. This reduction in waste is another significant benefit of using seaweed as a raw material.

Not only do these surfboards address environmental concerns, but they also offer outstanding performance attributes. Surfers will experience exceptional maneuverability and cushioning, making for a better and more enjoyable ride. Paradoxal Surfboards plans to commence pre-sales next year and is even exploring expansion into other water sports.

The success of Paradoxal Surfboards has not gone unnoticed. The company recently received first place in the Ocean Pitch Challenge 2023, further validating the potential of sustainable surfboards. This achievement indicates a potential shift towards more eco-conscious practices in the surfing domain.

It is inspiring to see surfers like Jérémy Lucas taking action to preserve the environment they cherish. By transforming an environmental problem into a sustainable solution, Paradoxal Surfboards is paving the way for a more eco-conscious future in the surfing industry. We can only hope that this initiative inspires other entrepreneurs and industries to adopt sustainable practices.

What are your thoughts on Paradoxal Surfboards and their use of beached seaweed for 3D printed surfboards? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages. And don’t forget to sign up for our weekly additive manufacturing newsletter to stay up to date with the latest stories delivered right to your inbox.

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