The three-part Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Virtual Series wrapped up successfully on March 18 averaging nearly 90 participants for each of the three two-hour sessions from around the U.S., Australia, England, the Netherlands and other countries.
The final session featured a presentation on “Next Generation Technology” by Darren Arthur, MFC, Nautilux Custom Canvas, Hazlitt, N.J. Arthur discussed his experiences incorporating technology into his shop over the past decade. He recommends starting with a photogrammetry system, such as PhotoModeler, to take photos of patterns and trace over them to create digital files to use with CAD software.
“This is a good first step,” says Arthur. “Master 2D first before moving into 3D.”
Arthur says he tried to use a laser to get started with 3D, but found it limiting as it required two people and didn’t work well in bright light conditions. Arthur says the Proliner from Prodim is his primary measuring tool. “This allows me to measure by myself out at a boat in a stiff wind without any trouble. It’s safer, predictable and saves labor. But there is a learning curve.”
Arthur’s primary advice to beginners who aren’t sure where to start is, “Have standards in order—like McDonalds. Make things duplicatable for predictable results.”
The final session also included exhibitor spotlights with Craig Zola from Herculite, Steve Fredrickson form Sattler Corp., Kyle Burns from Keyston Bros. and Dan Litster from Sunbrella. Another session highlight was a drone photography tour of Marine Tops Unlimited, Omro, Wis., narrated by co-owner Kyle Van Damme, MFC.
The final session wrapped up with product giveaways from event sponsors Fabric Tattoo/Eqodry, IMAR Products LLC, Miami Corporation, Polyfab USA LLC, Sattler Corp., Sunbrella, Trivantage and WeatherMAX. Additional event sponsors include Continental, Herculite, Keyston Bros., Surefas and Marlen Textiles.
“It was great to see the marine industry coming together online during the MFA Virtual Series these last few months, says IFAI Event & Education Manager, Barbara Connett. “These sessions were a convenient opportunity to engage in tailored industry education and connect with fabricators and vendors in short, convenient blocks of time right from their own shop.”