Flexible materials for an outstanding run on the slopes
Year: Winter 2012
Supervision: Prof. Frithjof Meinel
Material: Sketching, model making in cardboard und polypropylen, CAD in Rhino and Alias, CNC-milling, pipe bending machine, material trials
Implementation: Teamwork with Heinrich Ehnert, polyethylene sheet material mit stainless steel runners , a flexible belt system with aluminium connectors, 40 × 23 × 80 cm, resp. 60 × 80 × 2 cm
Winter sports = Skiing? Not quite. Although sled based winter enjoyment is not even close to being as popular as skiing, it should not be underestimated when it comes to speed, fun and flexibility.
Heinrich Ehnert and I worked in collaboration with KHW in Gerschwenda, Thurangia, one of the market leaders in it’s field, to design and develop a polyethylene based sled which can be stored in a compact format during the warm summer months. A folding sled.
The base shape resembles the classic swiss style Davoser model and is created by folding a two-dimensional sheet material. The reversible 2D to 3D process allows for a reduction in volume by almost 90%, compressing the sled into a flat 4mm polyethylene sheet and vice versa.
The convex seat shape is achieved by folding the material along two curved creases. This creates enough tension force on the two adjacent sides to make for a stable construction. An additional belt system locks and controls the three dimensional structure, bringing about a robust product which is easy to use and adjust. Further sturdiness is achieved once tube-like stainless steel runners are attached to the sled.
The compact volume and a simple setup sled is designed for winter enthusiasts of all ages with a varying degree of expectations. Even users with small cars or families who rely on public transport in order to make it to their nearby winter slopes, have the advantage of traveling with a lightweight, flat packed object that allows for easier mobile use. Alternative ways of transporting the sled are more viable and can support a less invasive winter tourism.
This sled is the result of a strong collaborative effort between myself and Heinrich Ehnert. As students we developed and tested the object during our time at university. A driving force behind the project, was the aim of creating a dynamic, athletic appearance coupled with an enjoyable riding experience.