3D printed climbing holds, now with texture


Technology offers all kinds of possibilities to shape our environments in the way that suits us best. Many ski resorts use artificial snowmaking to extend their seasons, there are wave pools for surfing hundreds of miles from the oceans, and if you don’t live near the mountains, you can also build your own rock wall. escalation. For the latter, many have turned to 3D printers to create more rock-like climbing grips, but plastic doesn’t tend to behave the same as rock unless you do what. [Giles Barton-Owen] done and incorporate salt into the impressions.

For smaller makers, the way the rock texture is mimicked is usually by incorporating sand, permanently, into the handle itself. It works well enough but is often too rough for climbers’ hands or doesn’t quite replicate a climbing experience. For these handles, instead of including sand, salt crystals of a particular size were added to a resin that was formed on the 3D printed handle. Once the resin has substantially hardened, the water soluble salt can be washed away, leaving a texture perfect for grasping with chalk hands.

Although this is not a scalable method for large-scale climbing grip manufacturers, [Giles] hope this method will help small rigs or even DIY climbers build more realistic grips without breaking the bank. In fact, he has already had some success at his local climbing gym using these grips. The method may be harder to scale for larger manufacturers, but for anyone wanting to try it themselves, all that’s needed for this build is a 3D printer, salt, and time.


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