MISSION Boat Gear is Making Waves with the Help of 3D Printing
MISSION Boat Gear is a Minnesota-based company that designs and develops innovative boating and lake life accessories. Kris Clover – industrial designer, boating enthusiast and founder of MISSION – loved the idea of wakesurfing but didn’t have a surf boat. Seeing a significant opportunity to create a universal wake shaping device that would work on any boat model, Kris partnered with his friend and mechanical engineer Mark Bohlig to come up with a solution.
When the duo had a design ready to prototype they reached out to AdvancedTek for 3D printed models for concept review and low cost visualization. Although they liked what they were seeing with the printed models, Kris and Mark knew their design was too complex for traditional manufacturing. They worked closely with AdvancedTek, making adjustments and printing multiple iterations, to produce a design suitable for injection molding. Once this was achieved MISSION was able to share the 3D printed model with their molding vendor to help bridge communication and speed up the process.
Prototype printed in ASA material
Prior to giving the molding vendor the green light, MISSION and AdvancedTek printed one last model in a strong production-grade material (ULTEM) to use for functional testing. “If we would have gone with an SLS or SLA model it just wouldn’t have had the strength that we needed to actually put the model in the water to check the wave and performance that we were looking for,” said Kris. The success of the ULTEM model gave Kris and Mark the confidence to proceed with the costly injection mold tooling. As an added bonus, MISSION was able to use the printed parts in initial marketing materials to give them a jump start prior to having manufactured parts, and thus a leg up on the competition.
Prototype printed in ULTEM material for functional testing
Additive manufacturing provided MISSION with the speed and flexibility they needed with the precision and cost savings they desired, turning their vision of a universal wake shaping device into a reality more quickly and efficiently.
To learn more about MISSION’s Delta Wakesurf Shaper, visit their website.