Inventors are passionate about making their mark in the world—by making life better for everyone. This statement accurately describes Joe and Mollie Herzberger, who founded Wicked Wakesurf Designs LLC (WWD) several years ago. The Georgia-based company sells the Wicked Wakesurf, an aftermarket back-of-boat paddle that was developed to create perfectly formed waves for wakesurfers (those who trail behind a boat without being directly pulled by it).
However, because each boat has a different transom profile to which the paddle is secured, its initial HDPE-plastic-only design prevented the paddle from always creating the perfect wave. To overcome this problem, the couple recently redesigned the paddle with the help of PartWorks LLC, a rapid digital manufacturer of low-volume metal, plastic and wood parts.
“Their invaluable design and production expertise has resulted in [key] product improvements,” says Joe Herz-berger. “[It] will [also] drive the growth of our business beyond our wildest dreams.”
PartWorks changed the paddle’s composite materials to metal and plastic for increased durability. It also changed the paddle’s shape to make it more stylish and easier to install.
Scott Geller, CEO of PartWorks, says company engineers relied heavily on two technologies to perform the redesign: Faro scanners for 3D laser scanning, and the Solidworks program for 3D design and modeling. According to Herzberger, the scanners replace the process of manually cutting templates, enabling WWD to create custom-fitting paddles more quickly and expand the size of its target market.
Impressed with the redesign, the Herzbergers outsourced the manufacturing, packing and shipping of all paddles to PartWorks so WWD could focus strictly on marketing and sales. PartWorks also updates consignment inventory and shipping status for billing and tracking purposes.
Mounting the paddle on a boat is a three-step process. Step one involves assembling the mount (using hex bolts) and attaching it to the deck by tightening threaded turn knobs. Next, the paddle is lined up with the mount and positioned to the side of the transom as far as possible, without extending past the side hull. Finally, the eyehook is attached and pulled up to secure the mount, and the paddle is attached to the mount with three Phillips-head bolts.
PartWorks helps inventors design, prototype and manufacture metal, plastic and wood parts, and all related tooling and fixturing. Its Industrial Concierge services include reverse engineering; 3D scanning, modeling and printing; CNC machining; injection molding; investment casting; plastic and metal extrusion; metal stamping; woodworking; and precision sheet metal fabrication.
A subsidiary of the Phoenix Stamping Group, PartWorks serves many customers in the aerospace, automotive, energy and medical industries. For more information on redesigning parts using 3D technology, call 470-231-7278 or visit www.partworks.com.