Parametric Tool for Wing Design
Hawaii / Maine

Sail Design
Nylon ripstop cloth, Rhino 3D: Grasshopper

2m^2 - 6m^2

Developing a parametric tool to be used in the design and manufacture of ‘Wings’ for the recreational sport ‘Wing Foiling’.

Baseline Definitions: -“Parametric modeling is a modeling process with the ability to change the shape of model geometry as soon as the dimension value is modified. Parametric modeling is implemented through the design computer programming code such as a script to define the dimension and the shape of the model.”

-Rhino 3D is a computer aided design (CAD) application. Rhinoceros geometry is based on the NURBS mathematical model, which focuses on producing mathematically precise representation of curves and freeform surfaces in computer graphics.

-Grasshopper is a visual programming language that runs within Rhino 3D

This project is developing a parametric 3D digital model for a company that builds a variety of different kinds of sails for water-sports activities. The design is for a series of inflated ‘wings’ that are used to propel users on a small surfboard that travels just above the surface of the water at high speed using a hydrofoil. A new sport that is called ‘Wing Foiling’ that is developing rapidly. This project comes about from two different design directions. The first is the parametric aspect of the modeling will give the designers the ability to adjust the parameters of the design on the fly while having instant measured manufacturing outputs. The second reason for working in this manner is an attempt to sync the prototyping design process across two different scales of manufacturing. The foundation of the ‘wing’ will be made in large numbers at an advanced manufacturing facility in China, then shipped to individual sailmakers throughout the world for custom completion for their individual clients needs. A process dictated by the high expense of the manufacturing machines needed to make the foundation of the wing. 

Currently the project is in prototyping phase with work focusing on streamlining the outputs to match the requirements for manufacturing. 

Wing Foiling Example:

The 3D model being flexed through it's possible dimensions:
Sewing canopy to molded struts:

Checking results of attaching canopy:

Prototype in use:

The 3D model being flexed through it's possible dimensions:

Video showing manufacturing process for 3D mold making of wing shapes:

Prototype being tested for stress points in the shape: