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The Boat Builder, the EinScan H and Fusion 360: Craftsmanship Meets Technology

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From the heart of the UK to the sea

The Cotswolds, a region located in the heart of the UK is not where one might expect to find a boat builder. For Daniel Lee, building a boat is the ultimate woodworking project. Lines on a boat are very rarely straight. This adds a whole new dimension, challenge and beauty to the way of forming a boat, he says.

At the Intersection of Craftsmanship and Technology

Boats and wood have both been Daniel´s passions since a very young age. He loves the combination where the two meet. His favorites are vintage race boats and runabouts from the pre-war era. He believes the ‘golden age’ of boating dates back to a time when quality and style in wooden boat building were at their peak. The advancement of technology, modern construction methods, design and how this brings constant change to boat building fascinate Daniel.

His father and grandfather have always ‘played with boats’ and wood, so wooden boat building was a natural path of interest for Daniel to end up following. For many years he wanted to get into boat building full time. He has now taken the step into this adventure at the intersection of handcrafting and high tech equipment.

From Scanning to Manufacturing: Authentic Digital Restoration and Replication with the EinScan H and Fusion 360

1. 3D scanning with the EinScan H

Currently, Daniel is working on the restoration of a Stapley ski race boat. He is using the EinScan H Hybrid Light 3D Scanner to digitally capture the entire hull.

3D capturing the hull of the Stapley ski race boat with the EinScan H

As the EinScan H is a very efficient, user friendly and at the same time accessible device, it is the perfect tool for Daniel´s boat-building business. Getting started 3D scanning with the EinScan H is smooth and easy, also in technically demanding environments. It is light and flexible, so even getting it set up in a workshop and maneuvering it around huge objects for surface capturing is a simple task.

Daniel is scanning the full hull of the Stapley ski race boat in his workshop

3D scanning with the EinScan H creates an authentic digital image of the boat hull in the EXScan software. The boat was scanned on a medium detail level to an accuracy of 1mm.

Stapley ski race boat full hull in the EXScan software

Boat hull with original color features in EXScan software

2. Reverse Engineering in Fusion 360

In the further process, alongside the restoration of the boat, Daniel is using Fusion 360 to reverse engineer the scanning data to create mould sets. With this information, he is able to roughly calculate the costs of replicating the Stapley ski race boat with modern construction technologies and materials.

Creating equally spaced cross-sections in Fusion 360

Placement of some equally spaced cross sections or “stations” in order to create the new hull. Combined with a cross-section of the keel, these are used to loft new skins for the boat.

Sketch of the new hull

Rough drawing of the new hull, deck and transom components. At this point, the hull isn’t faired but the shape is close enough to be able to obtain material quantities for producing a new boat.

Drawing the layout for a mould

Drawing of an approximate layout of the mould. The original boats contain 6 layers of mahogany veneer, laid in opposing diagonal directions over a mould to form a rigid shell. This mould can be made from CNC cut sheets of MDF that will slot together in an egg crate style assembly.

Design of the hull

The mould is then skinned with wood battens which would be faired and used to build up the layers of veneer. The outer surface of this mould needs to match the inner shape of the hull.

Data comparison

The last step is the comparison of the scan data to the newly lofted hull skin and transom.

Daniel drew the data up in around 2 hours for the purposes of working out some rough pricing for what a replica of the boat might cost to build. If prices seem feasible Daniel can start to draw the boat up in more detail and do some refinements.

Images: courtesy of Daniel Lee (Dan Lee Boat Building). For more information on Daniel and his work with the EinScan H visit www.danleeboatbuilding.co.uk

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