Autodesk and Decathlon develop fin of the future

Sports equipment manufacturer Decathlon and Autodesk are using Autodesk's "Design & Make" platform to present the diving fin of the future, to be marketed in 2025.

After working in 2020 on "the bike of the future", whose fork design was conceived and optimized using generative design in Autodesk Fusion software, the two companies are teaming up again, using 

In 2020, Decathlon and Autodesk teams rethought the design of a racing bike as part of a visionary project, drawing on these new design and simulation technologies, but also setting up new internal collaboration processes. Today, the "Palme React" project is inspired by this "bike of the future" project.

Generative design is a form of artificial intelligence which, from a list of precise constraints set by an engineer, can offer in a matter of minutes dozens, even hundreds, of possible solutions to a given design problem. The technology uses algorithms, machine learning and computational geometry to rapidly explore several solutions. The designer is presented with numerous optimized solutions that will satisfy the various criteria. This process radically changes the way a product is designed and optimized. In addition to the economic benefits, generative design enables designers to build or manufacture faster, smarter and more sustainably, whatever the sector.

More than just a fin, the "Palme React" represents a major step forward in the use of technology to reduce impact, enabling us to reinvent the way we design, use and think about everyday objects. With this new collaboration, Autodesk and Decathlon are at the dawn of eco-innovation and setting an example.

The FF 500 React fin revisits the rules of diving thanks to Autodesk's Fusion artificial intelligence, which has made it possible to generate a fin shape using as little material as possible, reducing its carbon impact by 50% compared with the market benchmark. Made from recycled plastic, this single-material fin can be recycled without needing to be dismantled at the end of its life.

Armand Macé, the Decathlon product engineer, materials specialist and scuba diving enthusiast who designed the fin, was determined to completely rethink the traditional design of diving fins. "Our aim was to create a disruptive object, moving away from classic models to embrace a totally new approach”, he explains. The challenge was considerable: to design a fin that, unlike traditional models where rigidity decreases from the foot to the tip, would maintain a constant thickness while complying with strict eco-design criteria. "We decided to start from scratch", he emphasizes, highlighting their ambition to minimize the product's environmental impact, compared to the current range of fins.

In addition to a weight saving that reduces its environmental impact, the "React" fin offers a new aesthetic. "We've changed the way we look at the product. It's no longer just a question of power or speed, but also of lightness, aesthetics and environmental impact", says Raphaël Vis, Circularity Project Manager and Designer at Decathlon, expressing his pride in bringing an innovative product to market with Autodesk's help.