Have you heard about the 3D printed boat? | Sculpteo Blog

Have you heard about the 3D printed boat?

Posted By Lucie Gaget on Nov 13, 2019 | 0 comments

3D printing a boat is not a new thing. We already talked about some impressive 3D printed boat projects on our blog, but as you know, 3D printing technology is evolving quickly and new impressive projects can be made. Today, we will not talk about just any 3D printed boat, we will talk about what is known to be the biggest 3D printed boat.


Why has 3D printing been used for this boat project? How did researchers manage to create such a big part using additive manufacturing? Let’s find out.


3d printed boat


The biggest boat ever 3D printed 


The 3Dirigo is here! The 3Dirigo is a boat manufactured by the University of Maine. A team of researchers used a large-format 3D printer developed by the UMaine Advanced Structures and Composite Center. The biggest part is actually 7.62 meters long and has a weight of 2.2 tones. 


Thanks to this impressively big 3D print, the team broke some records. The project was awarded three different world records: the largest 3D printed solid part, the largest 3D printed boat and finally the largest 3D printer. This 3D printed boat shows some great opportunities for the maritime sector, which could benefit from some great advantages of additive manufacturing. 


Large-scale 3D printing is more and more used, for manufacturers willing to create large structures, but also to avoid the assembly process as much as possible. Time and money-saving are part of the advantages offered by these XL printers. The 3D printing of the boat is a big step forward in this government-supported project.

3d printed boat


How to 3D print a boat?


How is it even possible to 3D print such a big part? The team from UMaine worked with Ingersoll Machine Tools to develop a large-scale 3D printer, with a 3D printing volume of 30 x 6.70 x 3 meters (length, width and height) and a speed of 227 kilos per hour. 


This 3D printing machine has been made for rapid prototyping, for defense and infrastructure applications. The 3D printer works a little bit like a giant Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) printer, but with a print head fixed on a gantry with rails to make it easier to move for really big parts. The material printed with this machine is of biological origin, and more specifically cellulose from wood.


The boat has been 3D printed in 72 hours.


Check out this video of the 3D printing process of the boat: 


Benefits of 3D printing for boat manufacturing


More and more different sectors are now using additive manufacturing for their production process. Indeed, 3D printing is not only a prototyping technique. With 3D printing, boats can be produced lighter, with no material loss, parts can be customized and parts can be easier to replace. These are the general benefits. 


Moreover, additive manufacturing is making it possible to create spare parts. We can see that 3D printing is widely used in the automotive sector for spare parts: this advantage can obviously be used for the same purpose in the maritime sector. 


For example, some companies such as Ivaldi Group are working on improving 3D printed maritime spare parts, and even on the texture of spare parts for advanced performance. They found that texture improved the functionalities but also the perception of the quality of the part.


Do you have a 3D printing project to develop? Upload your 3D files right now on our 3D printing service and make the most of our professional 3D printers and receive your parts in a few days.


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