3D printing on-water sports boards with bio-inspired core designs

Aref Soltani, Reza Noroozi, Mahdi Bodaghi*, Ali Zolfagharian, Reza Hedayati

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


Modeling and analyzing the sports equipment for injury prevention, reduction in cost, and performance enhancement have gained considerable attention in the sports engineering community. In this regard, the structure study of on-water sports board (surfboard, kiteboard, and skimboard) is vital due to its close relation with environmental and human health as well as performance and safety of the board. The aim of this paper is to advance the on-water sports board through various bio-inspired core structure designs such as honeycomb, spiderweb, pinecone, and carbon atom configuration fabricated by three-dimensional (3D) printing technology. Fused deposition modeling was employed to fabricate complex structures from polylactic acid (PLA) materials. A 3D-printed sample board with a uniform honeycomb structure was designed, 3D printed, and tested under three-point bending conditions. A geometrically linear analytical method was developed for the honeycomb core structure using the energy method and considering the equivalent section for honeycombs. A geometrically non-linear finite element method based on the ABAQUS software was also employed to simulate the boards with various core designs. Experiments were conducted to verify the analytical and numerical results. After validation, various patterns were simulated, and it was found that bio-inspired functionally graded honeycomb structure had the best bending performance. Due to the absence of similar designs and results in the literature, this paper is expected to advance the state of the art of on-water sports boards and provide designers with structures that could enhance the performance of sports equipment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number250
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • 3D printing
  • Bio-inspired design
  • FEM
  • Kiteboard
  • Sports engineering
  • Surfboard


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