Collaborative Group Using Custom High-Performance Materials to 3D Print a Competitive Sailboat
Additive manufacturing is being put to use more often now in the boat and ship industry – we’ve seen innovations ranging from 3D printed electric yachts and sailboats to hulls for a yacht and a submarine.
Recently, chemical company LEHVOSS Group, and its Germany-based parent Lehmann&Voss&Co., announced that it is working with Livrea Yacht, no stranger to 3D printing for the sea, to fabricate a 3D printed sailboat, which is also referred to as a yacht.
LEHVOSS has been supporting the process development for the ambitious project since 2014 – its customized LUVOCOM 3F material compounds for 3D printing were engineered specifically for this application.
Italian boat builders and Livrea co-founders Francesco Belvisi and Daniele Cevola are building the 3D printed yacht, named the Mini 650, in order to compete with it in the 2019 Mini Transat, a solo transatlantic yacht race that begins in France, with a quick stop in the Canary or Madeira Islands, and finishing 4,000 miles later in Brazil.
Thiago Medeiros Araujo, LUVOCOM 3F market development manager for LEHVOSS Group, said, “We are happy to be a partner in this challenging and very exciting project. The Livrea yacht will show what today’s dedicated processing and 3D printing polymers can already achieve.”
Engineers with experience in both the Volvo Ocean Race and America’s Cup are supporting the project, for which Livrea performs all the simulation and evaluation work.
While designing and building the 3D printed Mini 650 craft, Belvisi and Cevola have also been developing a dedicated direct extrusion 3D printing technology at the same time with their other company, Italian 3D printing startup OCORE.
OCORE is providing high-quality 3D printed parts for the yacht, and has not only improved the 3D printing hardware – robot, nozzle, and extruder – for the project, but also used an algorithm, inspired by fractals, to develop and patent a new material deposition strategy.
“The yacht will be highly competitive thanks to the light and strong 3D printed parts,” said Belvisi, the Chief Technology Officer for OCORE. “3D printing dramatically reduces the build time for the yacht and also makes it more economical. We are looking forward not only to building the first 3D printed boat but also to winning the competition in 2019.”
According to the OCORE website, “New materials, new production environments demanded development of a new class of 3D ROBOT printers. From a surfboard to big yacht structures, our scalable additive equipment is manufacturing the next generation of 3D printed parts.”
The LEHVOSS Group is in charge of engineering and supplying customized 3D printing materials for the 3D printed sailboat, which are based on high-performance thermoplastic polymers like PEEK. The company is a strong proponent of using 3D printing technology to ensure the creation of excellent, high-performing parts.
“We are excited to have them on board for this innovative project,” Cevola, the Managing Director of OCORE, said about the partnership with LUHVOSS Group. “LUHVOSS Group is a widely recognized global manufacturer of customized polymer materials. Their sponsorship, additional support and experience with dedicated materials for our technology has helped a lot in driving our project. In addition, we now can also translate this technology to other industrial sectors for other applications.”
These materials should give the craft a major competitive advantage in the upcoming Mini Transat race.
Medeiros Araujo explained, “To achieve the required mechanical properties, these polymers are reinforced with carbon fibers. In addition, they are modified to yield an improved layer strength with no warping of the printed parts. This results in parts that are stronger, lighter and more durable.”
Discuss this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com, or share your thoughts in the Facebook comments below.[Sources: ThomasNet, Composites World]
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