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Accelerating Product Development and Manufacturing

Accelerating Product Development and Manufacturing: The World’s First 3D-printed Snowboard Bindings



Darren Swift (Swifty), in partnership with CFMS, is aiming to revolutionise para-snowboarding by enabling other double above the knee (DAK) amputees to compete against each other, rather than more able-bodied para-athletes. A former British Army soldier, who lost both his legs above the knee in a bomb explosion in Northern Ireland, he hopes to qualify for the 2022 Winter Paralympic Games in China.

In September 2019, Swifty successfully tested the world’s first 3D-printed snowboard bindings; 50% lighter, absorption of shock, complete adjustability and rotation, and a reduction in design and manufacturing time to market and cost.

In this presentation, Davide Bianchi, Head of Advanced Simulation presented the key engineering and technical aspects of the process undertaken to develop, test and manufacture the bindings;

  • Designing with a complete lack of information on the requirements -The ability to adapt to a new type of manufacturing technology where specific design rules (Design for AM) are combined with traditional analysis techniques using external factors (loading, environment, ergonomics of a disabled athlete) which are unknown and generated using processes adapted from other disciplines, or created ad hoc.
  • Cutting edge digital technologies- Only virtual testing was conducted and no failure was identified after extensive usage on the first test day. A completely new product concept has been digitally produced with little to no prototyping, highly replicable in engineering and manufacturing where the need to reduce design and test costs are paramount
  • The choice of technology for manufacturing - driven by the increased design freedom and possibility to iterate on the design without additional manufacturing set-up costs.
  • Bringing together virtual design and Additive Manufacturing (AM) - the concept of integrating digital design and manufacturing, working together to accelerate product development, and achieve competitiveness in the global marketplace.





Note: The presentation and recording are only available to NAFEMS members.



This event was available for free to the engineering analysis community, as part of NAFEMS' efforts to bring the community together online.

About the speaker

Davide Bianchi


Davide Bianchi is Head of Advanced Simulation at CFMS, providing in-depth technical knowledge and expertise across Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Managing a team of engineers, Davide is responsible for helping high value manufacturers harness the capabilities of innovation through advanced simulation.

Recognised throughout the industry for his expertise in structural design, Davide joined CFMS from engineering services consultancy, Bristol Aero, where he was Head of Programmes. With 15 years’ experience in structural engineering across the aerospace sector, Davide’s specialist skills stem from working on international projects for industry primes such as Airbus and Rolls-Royce.