By Brenden Monahan
When it comes to making a big splash in the action water sports scene, Liquid Force has been the predominant force. Jimmy Redmond, the godfather of wakeboarding, started Liquid Force over 25 years ago after feeling dissatisfied with the equipment at the time and recognizing a growing interest in the new sport. Since then, Liquid Force has been leading the way in design and manufacturing of wakeboards and other watersports equipment. Liquid Force’s tagline; “Relentless Innovation” is what drives their passion and continues to challenge the status quo. Their latest innovation, Foils, a hybrid wakeboard and hydrofoil that raises the rider above the water, allows you to surf the wake of the boat without a rope and is their newest line of products to hit the water. “We make just about everything towed behind a boat,” said Peter Mehrhof, an engineer at Liquid Force.
Pushing the boundaries of technology and continually innovating means overcoming challenges. One of the challenges the product development teams at Liquid Force face is working in remote design teams. Mechanical design is done at one location while graphic design at another. Vusar provides a medium for the designs to come together and view in the real world at scale. “There’s only so much you can tell by reviewing CAD models on your computer. Reviewing the designs in the real world at scale, while still in development, is a huge advantage” Mehrhof went on to explain. “Prototypes can be expensive, costs can escalate if you have to make changes, Vusar allows you to see as close to the finished product before cutting any material”.
Fast Feedback Another benefit of Vusar is the ability to reach out beyond your core design team. The engineers at Liquid Force can share new designs with a select group of their pro-riders and solicit feedback. This is all done via mobile which tremendously accelerates the feedback cycle.
Vusar’s mobile platform enables design teams to collaborate on their projects, even when they’re not at their computers. Viewing CAD models in AR via mobile is a game changer for product development teams. While Microsoft Hololens provides this capability in a hands-free setup, most companies can’t afford the investment. The learning curve on these new types of hardware is also steep compared to mobile AR. Vusar’s cloudbased platform allows you to seamlessly transfer between web and mobile. Vusar’s app runs on smartphones and tablets and is available for download on Google Play and the iOS App Store. Visit Vusar for more information.
Below is how Liquid Force has leveraged Vusar’s design visualization platform to engage their Design Insights Team.
Step 1 Prepared the collateral for distribution to the Design Insights Team for their review. This included the design file from Solidworks and Blender and a design survey constructed using Google Forms.
*Not actual survey
Step 2 Uploaded object as FBX file format to Vusar dashboard and added the design survey to the 3D design file via the attachments feature.
Step 3 Shared the design with the attached design survey from the Vusar app via text message to members of the Design Insights Team to engage their feedback. As you can see in Vusar’s object detail card, the survey form is attached to the 3D file (circled in red) and the share feature is in the top right corner (circled in blue).
Step 4 Every time a member of the team completed their survey, the engineer is notified by enabling the option “Get email notifications for new responses” in the Google Form settings.
*Not actual survey
The power of distributing the design to remote stakeholders and engaging it in augmented reality gives the team greater flexibility and enhances their workflows — helping to save time and resources throughout the project.
Brenden is the CPO at Vusar. He is a mechanical engineer with over 20 years of design and engineering experience.