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3D Printing Breathes New Life into Snowboarding Industry

The Burlington Free Press explains a common problem for snowboarding enthusiasts: the “hassle of bending down – or sitting down in the snow – to buckle boots into the bindings while skiers in their group wait.”  Obviously, this is not an ideal situation.

But as with many industries before this one, 3D printing is here to help.  “A new technology…enables the boot to snap onto the board similar to a ski binding…after more than four years of research and more than a decade of trying to find the answer to a question, [which] has long perplexed snowboarders and manufacturers alike, Burton Snowboards is releasing its new Step-On binding – touting it as a time-saver, [which] won’t negatively impact performance.  The binding goes on sale next fall and will run between $250 and $400.”

Of course, Burton Snowboards’s new Step-On binding was developed with the help of 3D printing.  This technology “made it possible for developers at Burton to crank out and refine hundreds of prototypes in a very short time.”

These new bindings will potentially increase interest in an industry growing at a “microscopic” rate.  As Chris Cunningham, Burton’s Vice President of Product explains, “we asked the question, ‘what if?’  What if I could save 30 seconds per run?”

“Multiplied by the 10 to 15 runs an average rider logs on any given day, a 30-second difference could mean an extra trip down the mountain per day.  Over [a number of] years, [this] number could add up into the hundreds.”

All in all, Burton Snowboards’s new Step-On binding means “less delay, less getting hands wet while fiddling with straps and buckles, [and ultimately] less time the skiers in the group have to wait around for their snowboard[ing] buddies to prepare their equipment after they get off the lift.”

Image Courtesy of Burton Snowboards

Quotes Courtesy of The Burlington Free Press

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