We’ve seen 3D printed models of yachts, 3D printed yacht parts, and even a decorative jaguar that was 3D printed to grace the bowsprit of a superyacht, but an entirely 3D printed yacht is another story. Italian startup Livrea Yachts, founded by two Sicilian boat builders, is not a stranger to 3D printing: a 1:14 scale model of its daysailer was 3D printed using WindformXT materials a few years ago. But the company has its sights set on something much bigger: building the world’s first 3D printed yacht.
Livrea is using a robotic additive manufacturing process to design the yacht, which could save the company money on materials, cut back project waste, and slash production from months to just hours. Livrea co-founders Francesco Belivisi and Daniele Cevola wanted to take a good look at how emerging production methods and technologies, like additive manufacturing, could help reduce the cost and time it normally takes to hand craft a boat, while also ensuring a yacht’s success in the water.
Cevola said, “We set out with goal of continuing the great tradition of Sicilian boat building by taking boat design and manufacture to the next level. This project has been our passion for some time. By harnessing cloud design, robotic additive manufacturing and new advanced materials we have been able to make huge steps in achieving our goal of having what we believe will be the world’s first fully 3D printed yacht.”
The company is working with Autodesk to complete the project. Cevola and Belivisi started out hand-drawing the designs for their yacht, and eventually advanced to 3D modeling and designing, using cloud-powered Autodesk Fusion 360 software. Based on Autodesk’s research, the two are working with robotic additive manufacturing, and using advanced, multi-material polymer composites to 3D print the hull of the yacht.
Autodesk’s partner SABIC stepped in with its Big Area Additive Manufacturing Machine (BAAM) to 3D print the components of the hull, using two materials from its THERMOCORP portfolio. Carbon fiber reinforced PPE compound was used for the hull’s outer layer, while carbon fiber reinforced PEI was used for the inner lattice support structure.
The company spent some time testing new materials that could help its yacht be competitive in future races. The technology and choice of material allows Livrea to print lightweight components and complex curvature, which is able to actually improve the yacht’s hull performance; this would not be possible using traditional hand crafting methods and wood.
“Livrea is a great example of a company exploring the future of making things and shaking up its industry,” said Massimiliano Moruzzi, Senior Principal Research Scientist at Autodesk. “Together with SABIC, we are using the very latest in advanced manufacturing techniques and materials to demonstrate what is possible in the here and now. Autodesk is honored to help Livrea on its quest to manufacture the world’s first 3D printed yacht and we look forward to seeing how these new processes influence other industries moving forward.”
The Livrea yacht project is actually one of the very first industrial examples of the hard work Autodesk’s advanced research team has put into developing its large format, multi-function robotic additive systems. The system is able to synchronize robotic and extruder manufacturing by leveraging advanced machine vision and motion control. By connecting vision systems with machine learning, the system is able to complete in-process monitoring and learning.
Livrea and SABIC are debuting the 3D printed hull at RAPID +TCT this week. The plan is for the 3D printed yacht to be completed in time to race it in the 2019 Mini Transat. The solo transatlantic yacht race over 4,000 miles, beginning in France, with a quick stop in the Canary or Madeira Islands, before going on to finish in Brazil. If you’d like to see the 3D printed component for yourself, you can visit SABIC’s booth, #2537, at RAPID. Discuss in the 3D Printed Yacht forum at 3DPB.com.